5 Allergen-Free Foodservice Tips

Feb 10, 2020 | Foodservice Industry, Health and Safety

Foodservice professionals endeavor to keep guests happy and comfortable while they eat. With increased awareness around food allergies, the pressure is on to create allergen-free foodservice environments to prevent cross-contamination between dishes. Here are our top 5 tips to prevent cross-contamination:

Keep One Fryer Devoted to Allergen-Free Cooking

Everyone loves fried foods— even guests with allergies. But, tossing mozzarella sticks or breaded chicken tenders into your deep fryer will leave traces of gluten and dairy in the oil, which can put guests with such allergies at risk. To prevent cross-contamination, keep at least one fry well and basket dedicated to allergen-free cooking. 

CAMBRO’s Allergen-Free Measuring Cups are clearly labeled in purple type so your staff can easily recognize which cup to use. Available in one-cup, one-pint, and one, two and four-quarts, your staff can measure nearly any portion necessary to make an allergen-free meal.

CAMBRO also makes Allergen-Free CamSquare containers and corresponding lids to keep foods separate during storage as well. 

Use Dedicated Tools for Common Food Allergens

For diners with extreme sensitivities to allergens, the smallest speck of food can cause major health issues. While thoroughly cleaning equipment and utensils is always a best practice, you can take allergen-free foodservice a step further and keep two sets of cooking tools— one for regular diners, and one for those with allergies. 

Use Easy-To-Clean Supplies

Kitchen Knives

If it’s not feasible for your kitchen to keep two sets of utensils and supplies, make sure you’re using tools that are easy to clean to prevent buildup. The DuoGlide All-Purpose Chef’s Knife by Dexter features a corrosion-resistant high-carbon stainless-steel blade. Its textured handle is entirely sealed to the blade ensuring the utmost sanitation and stain-resistance. For smaller cutting jobs, the DuoGlide 3⅜-inch Paring Knife offers the same quality blade and sanitary handle as the Chef’s Knife!

Dishers

For precise portion control and quick measuring, consider the Hamilton Beech’s 80 Series Commerical Dishers. These dishers are ergonomically designed and dishwasher safe to ensure a thorough clean. Color-coded and available in nine sizes ranging from .68 ounces to 4.66 ounces, the 80 series is a great solution for your allergen-free foodservice needs. 

Countertops

Stainless-steel countertops are extremely popular among kitchens, and for good reason. Because stainless steel is non-porous, it’s the perfect surface for food service because it won’t absorb liquid or food particles during prep. This is especially important for allergen-free foodservice. Once cleaned and sanitized, stainless steel countertops carry an extremely low risk of cross-contamination. The John Boos Stainless Steel Countertop with 6-Inch Backsplash is made with heavy-duty 16 gauge steel and can be cut to fit a sink or stove. They’re installation-ready and come finished on all four sides, allowing for a hassle-free renovation. 

Have Staff Change Gloves Often

Disposable gloves are often touted for preventing the spread of germs from hands to plates, but unless they’re changed often, gloves can carry residue from other dishes as well. Your staff should change their gloves numerous times throughout their shift. In particular, ask them to change their gloves when moving from a hot station to cold station, after taking out the trash, touching their face, and using the restroom. Train your front-of-house staff to alert the kitchen of any guest allergies so your cooks know to change their gloves when making a specific dish. 

Properly Label Food Items

Many chefs rely on CAMBRO’s StoreSafe Food Rotation Labels to ensure they’re following proper first-in-first-out food rotation. These labels are equally as important for allergen-free foodservice in preventing cross-contamination. Ensuring each ingredient or menu item is properly labeled helps eliminate mistakes when serving a guest with an allergy. StoreSafe labels dissolve within 30 seconds underwater for easy cleaning and changing, and have spaces to clearly label the date, employee, and menu item.  

Ensure Your Kitchen Can Accommodate Food Allergies

If you’re taking steps to ensure your kitchen can accommodate guests’ food allergies, talk to us. Elevation Reps is waiting to help you find the right equipment and utensils to keep guests safe and satisfied!