Resource Guide for Food Allergen Control at Retail

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Resource Guide for Food Allergen Control at Retail

This resource guide was developed by a consortium of stakeholders brought together by the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO). The resource guide is designed to help restaurant, grocery store, food service, and other retail food operators find information to implement controls to prevent food allergy reactions in their customers.

What is a food allergy?

How many people have food allergies?

According to _________ , __________ Americans have food allergies

What responsibilities do my customers with food allergens have?

Customers with food allergies have a responsibility to notify servers of their food allergy before placing an order. In order to facilitate this notice, many retailers have found it helpful to place reminder statements on signs and/or menus. Examples of such reminder statements include:

  • Food-allergic guests, please see manager.

  • For those who have food allergies, please inform your server. We will be happy to discuss any necessary accommodations.

  • Please alert your server to any food allergies before ordering.

  • Before placing your order, please alert the manager to your food allergy or special dietary need.

How can I keep my customers safe?

  • Get training on managing food allergens in a retail/food service setting

  • Identify the food allergen risks in your establishment

  • Develop a plan to respond to food allergic customers’ special needs

  • Train all staff about their roles in keeping food allergic customers safe

  • Know when you cannot safely serve a food allergic customer

Where can I get training on managing food allergens in my establishment?

  • The National Restaurant Association has partnered with Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) to create the ServSafe Allergens course.

What does my Food Allergy plan need to have?

  • Specific roles and responsibilities

    • Many establishments find it helpful to designate a food allergy coordinator to oversee the entire service of a customer with a food allergy, from order to preparation to service.

  • Accurate information about the food allergens used in your establishment, including in sub-ingredients

  • Processes to ensure that allergen transfer, called cross-contact, doesn’t occur

  • Procedures to respond to an allergic reaction

What do I do if a customer has an allergic reaction?

  • Call 911 immediately

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