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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2007 Apr;98(4):344-8.

Food-allergy management from the perspective of restaurant and food establishment personnel.

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  • 1The Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Food Allergy Institute, Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.



Restaurant and food establishment dining poses dangers for food-allergic consumers.


To identify, from the restaurant's perspective, factors that affect providing allergen-safe meals.


A structured questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of restaurant personnel.


Participants included 100 individuals (42 managers, 32 servers, 24 chefs, and 2 others) in 100 establishments (48 restaurants [17 continental, 19 Asian, and 12 Italian], 18 fast food, and 34 take-out [8 bakery, 13 ice cream, 9 Asian, and 4 pizza]). Food-allergy training was reported by 42% (76% apprenticing and 24% set program). On a 5-point Likert scale, a rating of "very" or "somewhat" comfortable was selected by 72% for providing a safe meal, 70% for "guaranteeing" a safe meal, and 47% for managing a food-allergy emergency. Regarding knowledge questions, 24% indicated that consuming a small amount of allergen would be safe, 35% believed that fryer heat would destroy allergens, 54% considered a buffet safe if kept "clean," and 25% thought that removing an allergen from a finished meal (eg, taking off nuts) was safe. More than 80% recognized peanut, milk, and seafood as major allergens (61% recognized egg). In practice, 58% indicated having a plan in place in the event of a reaction, and 62% had a plan to provide safe meals. An interest in further training was expressed by 61% of participants.


The restaurant personnel surveyed expressed a relatively high comfort level in providing safe meals to allergic consumers, but there are deficits in their knowledge base, indicating the need for more training and consumer caution.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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