Food Allergies: The 14 Allergens Chefs Need To Know
Food Allergies affect many people in the UK every year, with about ten people who die each year due to anaphylaxis that has been caused by a food allergy. Those people who suffer a severe reaction to a food need to be treated promptly by a trained paramedic for the allergic reaction.
Some people will have a high-risk allergy, this means even the tiniest of the food allergen can cause a severe reaction and may also be fatal. This can make the day to day life of a person with a food allergy very stressful.
All chefs need to be aware and trained in food allergens and understand what ingredients are in the foods they prepare
Foods That Cause Food Allergies To Be Aware Of?
The European Food Safety Authority advises on which foods have to be labelled on pre-packed foods and non-pre-packed foods, chefs and other food workers need to be aware of these.
The current list consists of 14 foods that need to be labelled and that chefs and catering business owners need to be aware are in the foods they have produced and are serving in restaurants.
The Current EFSA Food Allergen List
- Cereals Containing Gluten Such As Wheat (Such As Spelt ), Rye, Barley, Oats.
- Crustaceans, For Example, Prawns, Crabs, Lobster And Crayfish.
- Nuts, Such As Almonds, Hazelnuts, Walnuts, Pecan Nuts, Brazil Nuts, Pistachio, Cashew And Macadamia (Queensland) Nuts.
- Celery (And Celeriac).
- Sulphur Dioxide, Which Is A Preservative Found In Some Dried Fruit.
- Lupin Which Includes Lupin Seeds And Flour And Can Be Found In Types Of Bread, Pastries And Pasta.
- Molluscs, For Example, Clams, Mussels, Whelks, Oysters, Snails And Squid.
These food allergens will need to be identified by the business on the pre packed products with clear concise and bold labels, with all the allergen information and advice located in one place.
Food Allergies Training Courses
There is a large percent of the UK who have an allergy to foods. The highest percentage of allergies are gluten or wheat intolerance, with many people also being intolerant to some form of dairy. According to a leading intolerance testing group, an estimated 4% percent of the UK has a high risk of serious food allergy.
EU Regulations have been updated on food allergens due to the rise in food allergies with the introduction of Allergen Awareness.
What This Means To Your Business
The new legislation means that all food businesses need to provide allergy information on all unpacked food sold. Such as a catering business serving bar snacks (sandwiches) and restaurant style dishes.
Secondly, there have been updates made to the current law on the labelling of allergenic ingredients in packaged foods.
Who Should Complete Food Allergies Training?
To meet the terms of the current EU Legislation, all food workers must have Allergen Awareness Training, so they have knowledge of food allergens.
People working in the food industry who should complete allergen training include:
- Chefs and cooks who are preparing unpackaged foods.
- People working in a hands-on job role in a food manufacturing businesses including workers in a supervisory or management role.
Allergen Awareness Course Content
The allergen course will cover areas including:
- The Main Non-Food Allergens.
- The 14 Main Food Allergens.
- The Main Areas Of Food Hazards.
- How To Prevent Cross-Contamination.
- Separation Of Products.
- Cleaning And Colour Coding.
- Cleaning Stages.
- Validation And Verification Of Cleaning.
- The EU Food Information Regulations, 2014.
- Allergens In Catering.
Food Allergies Course Test
The Allergen Awareness Test is a multiple choice test and has a total of 20 multiple choice questions. Also to gain a pass on the test, you will need to answer 15 or more of the questions correctly.