When consumers disclose their food allergy, the food service industry has a responsibility to help the customer with food menu choices by providing information about food allergens that may be present directly and/or indirectly in food menu items.
The Allergen Collaboration has agreed to a number of key messages for the food service industry in regard to food allergens. These are listed below.
- Implement an effective food allergen management program
- Train all staff in food allergen risks, management and communication
- Provide clear, up-to-date and accurate information on the food allergen status of the foods you provide
- When consumers disclose their food allergy, the food service industry has a responsibility to help the customer with appropriate food menu choices by providing information about food allergens that may be present directly and/or indirectly in food menu items
- Consideration should be given to allowing some consumers with complex or multiple food allergy to bring their own food into your premises. If you choose to allow this in special circumstances, it is safer for all concerned and may encourage these consumers, their family and friends to return
Food Standards Code requirements
Standard 1.2.3 Information requirements - warning statements, advisory statements and declarations lists the food allergens that must be declared on food labels
Standard 1.2.1 Requirements to have labels or otherwise provide information requires the information to be provided when the food is packaged and unpackaged (for example, food sold in a restaurant).
Food allergies and food intolerances information for consumers.
Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia
- free resources for food service
- Food Service Kit for food service management of food allergy that can be purchased.
National Allergy Strategy
- All about allergens - this free online training course has been developed to help everyone working in food service, from the manager through to the food preparation and food service staff. The training will help food service staff to be aware of the risks food allergy poses, help identify and manage food allergens and provide help on how to respond to enquiries from customers with food allergy. Free downloadable resources including a food allergen menu matrix template, are also available.
- Be prepared. Be Allergy Aware - a resource for food service businesses developed by the New South Wales Food Authority and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia
- Food Allergens - free online training for food handlers, developed by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services
- View an allergy training video for food service staff developed by Allergy New Zealand with the collaboration of the Australia New Zealand Food Allergen Collaboration.
- In New Zealand, the 2014 Food Act and associated regulations require food businesses to register under a Food Control Plan or National Programme. These include requirements for food allergen management. See the Ministry for Primary Industries website for further information.