I hope you found the information in the previous 2 segments useful. We will now take that information and help you create a plan that will provide a seamless and less stressful order process for your customer and allow your staff to provide honest answers that are accurate.
STEP 1: Identify the staff members to serve as your go-to-people and one person to serve as the Allergen Manager. You should have one go-to-person available for every shift.
STEP 2: The Allergen Manager should identify all foods in facility that contain common food allergens. This includes;
- checking labels of pre-made items like frozen items,
- check labels of all commercially processed foods like powdered creamers or drink mixes,
- review all recipes or meet with Chef to go over each menu item.
STEP 3: The Allergen Manager should meet with Chef and walk through procedures for the preparation of each item. Begin identifying items that may be cross contaminated through;
- Deep fryers,
- breading or batter,
- close contact with air borne particles. (pizza dough maker for instance could also be a problem for gluten)
STEP 4: Create Spreadsheet
Create a spreadsheet listing menu items on the left and 8 allergens across the top. Now in each box put an X if that menu item contains or potentially contains the allergen. Use this chart when assisting customers.
STEP 5: Train ALL staff, including go-to-people, waitstaff & kitchen staff.
Review all preventions we discussed in part 2 of this article
All staff should be familiar with the following;
- Proper procedures to clean and sanitize equipment, utensils and other food contact surfaces using new wash water and sanitizer,
- How to prepare an allergen kit. Use a different colored cutting board and tools,
- How to avoid cross contamination of products during storage by following good food safety procedures
- Understand the importance of following all recipes exactly and not making any deviations without prior permission.
- Chef must understand the importance of notifying Allergen Manager about changes to the menu, procedures or new sub-ingredients.
- Waitstaff must understand they need to utilize the go-to-person on duty when someone mentions an allergen.
Although this may take some time and effort to properly implement, it will create a better experience for the customer and help avoid potential law suits. If you need assistance creating your plan we are here to help.
Contact Sue at 410-382-4325 for a free consultation.