Have you ever considered replacing an ingredient in one of your dishes or products, for cost reasons for example? If so, it’s very important to also change the corresponding allergen information on your menu or buffet cards. One example is the replacement of nuts by peanuts, which are cheaper. If your customer is unaware of the ingredient change, the consequences can be disastrous, because an allergic reaction can be extremely severe. Last year in Yorkshire in the UK a restaurant visitor died after having an anaphylactic reaction to a curry containing peanuts, after he had specifically informed the restaurant owner about his allergy. The restaurant owner had changed a nut ingredient in his recipe. Make sure your customers can rely on your allergy declarations by keeping them updated at all times.
Raw materials and semi-finished products
You also need to apply allergen coding to whatever raw materials you keep in your stockroom, refrigerator or freezer. How else will you know which allergens are (possibly) in your dishes when serving them? Once you have removed a product’s packaging, you have lost this information.
How to comply with regulations
Information about the fourteen most important allergens must be actively provided to your customers. It’s allowed to do this verbally, but you also need to have it in writing. This way, your employees can consult the allergen information and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) can check its’ accuracy.