Following on from our article on basic food hygiene guidelines and the recent Almost Famous inquest, today we’re going to look at food allergen management procedures, what your business should be doing and how your procedures could be improved.
The Almost Famous inquest showed us that even a small misunderstanding of food allergen management procedures could lead to fatal incidents for your customers. In that case, a customers stated allergy requirements were seemingly not correctly passed onto the kitchen which result in the loss of life. This could have been prevented if their server had better explained the customers allergen requirements or if the kitchen staff had followed up and ensured they fully understood the requirements. As the inquest showed, there were several issues and mistakes that could have potentially lead to this terrible mistake but how easily could it have been avoided?
Since the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation came into force in 2014, all food businesses have been required to to provide accurate allergen information regarding the presence of 14 allergens in the foods they provide, including non pre-packed foods. In short, this means that every food business should by now have fully implemented robust and comprehensive food allergen management procedures. There really is no excuse for staff or management from being unaware of their obligations to not only accurately display allergen information, but to also be able to accurately communicate allergen information to your customers.
Since the introduction of the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation it’s been more important than ever to ensure that your business has a regular allergen training programme that your staff are required to complete on a regular basis. Whilst there are many options available, both online and offline, when it comes to allergen training, we believe that we are able to offer every business the perfect allergen training package to get your staff up to speed and to ensure your staff remain aware. We offer 2 allergen ‘classroom’ training courses which can be delivered either at your premises or at one of our external training sites. These are our Food Allergen Awareness and Level 3 Food Allergen Management courses and these are the perfect courses to ensure that every member of your staff, from servers and chefs to delivery drivers and warehouse workers, are fully aware of their responsibilities under allergen legislation. These courses can be delivered back to back over a day and a half period to minimise disruption to your business. We also know that you don’t want to have to make sure staff sit through expensive, time consuming training courses every year to keep them legally compliant. That’s why we also offer our Allergen Awareness e-learning course which is the perfect refresher course for those who have already undertaken traditional training and just need a refresher.
With these 3 courses, we know that your business won’t encounter any issues when it comes to your food allergen management procedures as your staff will be fully trained to handle any circumstance.