Catering for food allergies now on cafe menus

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 14th September 2010

A new food allergen guide by Anaphylaxis Australia to help restaurants and cafes provide safe foods for people with food allergies has been applauded by the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) today.

Produced with support of the Coeliac Society and health experts, the new Allergy Guide Safer Meal Service contains practical steps to ensure meals prepared in eateries are safe by understanding what food allergens are present and helping customers make safe choices.

AFGC Chief Executive Kate Carnell said food safety was paramount for Australia’s food industry, especially when lives can be put at risk from the dangers of allergies.

“Over the past five years, food manufacturers have undertaken significant changes to better manage and understand what allergenic foods are present in manufactured products.   Now it’s time for restaurants and cafés to help pass on this important information to consumers and keep allergic customers safe,” Carnell said.

To complement the Guide, AFGC has developed a Product Information Form (PIF), which allows food and ingredient manufacturers to easily provide caterers and food businesses with comprehensive information about the ingredients and foods they supply.

The PIF, a single national standardised form, means that suppliers and manufacturers can provide information on food allergens in a uniform, reliable and transparent way.

“The PIF provides Australian food manufacturing businesses with considerable savings in time and resources to provide the same information to all their customers, and reduces the risks of typographical and clerical errors in completing the form.  Since the PIF was first introduced, there has been wide acceptance of the use of the form across the entire industry,” Carnell said.

Industry’s new PIF Version 3.0 can be also downloaded free from AFGC’s website.