So, a while ago I posted asking for you to help out Paul from Allergy Eats with defining “allergy-friendly” as it pertains to a restaurant. I also took the time to post my own thoughts before I sent them on to be tabulated.
Well, now Paul has posted his summary & survey results to the still mysterious government body. I enjoyed reading the results, so I thought I’d share:
It’s great to see the results, and I can’t wait to see where & how they’re put to use. It’s also great that all of our comments were passed along with the report, so rest assured that your voice has been heard thanks to Paul. Hopefully it lays groundwork for more gub’ment organizations to follow by example! (Although, we need to push from a consumer level too.)
My take on the results… it looks like we’re all looking for everyone in the restaurant from kitchen to wait staff to managers to be trained in food allergies and cross-contamination and possibly even certified… which seems like a no-brainer. Even if that’s all we get, it’s a great start.
Employee answering phone needs to be knowledgeable: 1
Apparently, I’m the only one who wants the person answering the phone to know what they’re talking about. Ha ha. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to define shellfish on the phone, or ask if they have any only to get there after being told no… and they totally do. Perhaps it’s shame on me for not asking to talk to a manager… but the person answering the phone ought to be knowledgeable enough to hand-off such questions, so I stand by my statement.
Cross contamination: (42 responses)
Understands and avoids cross-contamination: 21
Separate and cleaned prep areas and cookware: 20
Should wash hands: 1
Who said they should wash their hands? Seriously? I hope they’re doing that anyway… and that they don’t really need those signs in the restroom as a reminder.
Treats ALL allergies the same, not just the Big 8: 1
Apparently I’m the lone theorist there. Really? Well, I’m in the Top 8 category, so I guess… yo hell with the rest of you! Ha ha.
No nuts strewn about the restaurant: 1
This one agitates me. If it’s part of the restaurant’s shtick/ambiance/personality… then just give it up. I like being able to walk into Five Guys and grab a tray of peanuts. I don’t expect (or want) to dine at Long John Silvers or Red Lobster any time soon.
Specific allergen menus available in-house (not just online): 13
Allergen symbol list on menus: 12
Online food allergy menu: 4
All excellent points. I’ve blogged about the need for menu symbols before. Let’s get this done, people!
Ability to print out all ingredients for customer / show labels to customer if necessary: 11
Great idea. A representative from Bob Evans once emailed me a chart detailing where everything was cooked in the kitchen & what surfaces would be safe with my shellfish allergy while they has a seasonal Shrimp stir-fry dish. How cool is that?
At any rate, read the Blog at AllergyEats, and leave some feedback whether you participated in the original survey or not… it’s still valuable. I’d also appreciate any comments here. I’m sure the peanut thing will get some people riled up. Ha ha.