Monday, June 23, 2014

How Restaurants Handle Food Allergies

I was glad to read this article in spite of the unwanted fear it mustered up in me. I was away this past weekend and realized this article could not have come at a better time to read. Its all about food allergies -- almost everyone knows someone who has one of these.

As we both ordered our meals at various restaurants that we went to, it came to me that -- "wow, this is different." We were asked if we had any known food allergy or food sensitivity as soon as we sat at our table. Fortunately, we both answered no, but in really thinking about this question, there is no doubt that there is a definite rise in food allergies/intolerances everywhere.

Restaurants need to know how to handle food allergies -- their businesses rely on it, but more than that, a life can rely on it. Now-a-days there can be any number of allergies ranging from Celiacs disease, gluten-free sensitivities, vegetarian, vegan, tree nut-free, dairy-free or shellfish-free allergies.

Today, there is "an estimated 15 million Americans have food allergies. And that number is on the rise: a 2013 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study revealed that food allergies among children increased 50 percent between 1997 and 2011. It's a so far inexplicable phenomenon."

There is a distinction among chefs who would prefer to not even serve a person with an allergy or to other chefs who strongly believe that there needs to be better precautions taken with food service.

The verbatim explanation below comes from the article and is worth mentioning again because of its critical importance:

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