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How to Create an Allergen-Safe Restaurant Menu

February 23, 2021

Food safety today often means making sure that the menu has been designed with acute attention to possible allergens. Creating an allergen-safe restaurant menu may also mean having someone on staff with a food handler’s certificate, as well as a menu designed to offer customers the information they need about potential allergies.

Keep reading to learn about the ways you can create an allergen-safe menu for a restaurant, as well as the most common allergens that may impact your customers.


Allergies are Common and Widespread

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more than 50 million people experience some type of allergy each year. Those allergies might appear as a fit of sneezing, a stuffy nose, or a scratchy throat.

Unfortunately, some allergies may cause a significant and life-threatening reaction, and many of those allergies can occur when someone eats food that they’re allergic to. Something like a peanut allergy might cause a potentially fatal reaction called anaphylaxis, which may require immediate medical treatment or hospitalization.

Because there are some allergies that are connected to food and which can be deadly, it’s essential for restaurant and deli owners to create a menu that can help inform their customers, as well as implement proper food safety practices in the kitchen and anywhere food is prepared in the establishment.


Clear & Easy-to-Read Menu

One of the best ways to inform customers about potential allergens in food is through cues on the menu. Options for delivering vital information to visitors include graphical displays like symbols next to various foods, as well as brief sentences indicating what foods might have allergens. For example, a menu designer might type “GF” next to each dish that is gluten-free or an “NF” next to each dish that is nut-free.

Some allergies are so severe and potentially life-threatening that having all staff members complete a food handler certification course online may be the best option for ensuring that the food served in the establishment is completely free of all stated allergens. It could prove disastrous if someone came into contact with peanuts and then prepared a portion of food that was supposed to be nut-free for the restaurant.


Indicating that Allergens Cannot be Eliminated

Unfortunately, it’s often impossible to create a restaurant environment where absolutely every potential allergen is off the menu. A dish might be gluten-free to accommodate those with celiac disease, but it might include soy, which is another allergen.

Sometimes, the best option isn’t to try and remove every allergen, and it’s simply a matter of making sure customers know which foods have allergens and which foods have been prepared in a careful manner with attention paid to cross-contamination and the most common allergens and food allergies that impact the average customer.


Make Responsible Menu Decisions with the Help of Certified On The Fly

Crafting the perfect menu for your restaurant requires the knowledge only a food handler certification course can provide. Certified On The Fly is an online course that gives participants the information and knowledge they need to make informed decisions and follow the law when it comes to food safety.

Our online Texas Food Handler course is affordable and self-paced to accommodate your busy schedule. Enroll with us today to learn more about safe food handling in the state of Texas.

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