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Is it possible to dine out safely with food allergies?

Thursday, March 29, 2018


Today we're asking a very tough question. Is it possible to dine out safely with food allergies?

Statistics would suggest not, hospital admissions have risen 33% in the last 5 years and there are roughly 10 fatal reactions in the UK each year as a result of undeclared allergenic ingredients.

These statistics are not isolated to the UK with a US citizen admitted to the emergency room every three minutes as a result of a food allergy and up to 200 Americans die each year as a result of food-related anaphylaxis.

Food allergies are a very serious and increasingly common occurrence that must be taken seriously to save lives. Increases in food-allergy legislation can only go so far in ensuring diner safety, with responsibility ultimately falling to the restaurant.

So what can be done to reduce these shocking figures and help food-allergic diners enjoy the simple pleasures of eating out safely?

Food allergies need to be considered at every stage of the food chain, from grower to supplier to table. Allergens need to be tracked accurately and consistently at each stage of the food chain to reduce incidences of cross-contamination and to ensure correct product labelling and precautions are taken when an ingredient that has come into contact with other allergens is eventually used in a dish. The final responsibility may come down to the kitchen but growers and suppliers should also be doing their bit to help kitchens become more transparent.

Click here to find out how Kafoodle can help you track your food-allergens.There needs to be more training about the severity of food allergies and how simple changes to kitchen practices can stop cross-contamination and keep diners safe. Proper food allergy management should be taught in catering colleges and training provided to established kitchens to ensure that the future of the culinary world is allergy aware.There needs to be more understanding. It's the cowardly option to tell a food allergic sufferer to eat elsewhere and many hold the belief that food-allergic people should refrain from eating out at all. Food allergies can be easily catered for when a kitchen is truly transparent, attitudes to allergies must change and diners with special requirements shouldn't have to feel like an inconvenience when asking for a safe meal.

Do diners need to take responsibility in order to have a safe experience?

The chain of communication starts with the diner, it is their responsibility to alert restaurant staff of their food allergy however it is then the responsibility of the front-of-house to relay this information to the kitchen. Having made staff aware of their special requirements a diners safety is largely out of their control. We wouldn't expect regular diners to take responsibility for food poisoning so why should a food allergic diner be held responsible if they should have a reaction to a dish that has been wrongly described as safe?

Here at Kafoodle, we want to see a world where everyone can dine safely no matter their allergy, their medication or their preferences. To find out more about how we can help you become a safer kitchen for food allergic diners get in touch on 020 3371 0450 or at

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