Allergens: Creating an Allergy Safety Plan

Allergens: Part 3 of 3 Creating an Allergy Safety Plan

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,
  • steamers,
  • 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. 

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