Think beyond the salad for customers with food allergy, FeedMe Too
Food service venues are missing out on business because they’re not adequately catering for customers with food allergies. Sydney mum of three, Annabel Selby-Jones, is frustrated at not being able to take her kids with Coeliac Disease out for a family meal more often, or grab a quick take-away, so she has quit her job to launch a business that helps food businesses more easily manage food allergies.
FeedMeToo not only supplies allergy-friendly food to businesses, but Annabel also provides education, resources and advice on how to avoid cross contamination in the kitchen.
“Australia has a really high rate of food allergies, and prevalence seems to be increasing. At the same time, the number of people choosing to avoid ingredients like dairy and gluten is on the rise. This is a significant number of people looking for better allergy-friendly eating out options. In addition, these people dine out with friends and family, making that proportion of lost business even higher, said Annabel.
“Food businesses may think it’s too hard, or not worth the effort catering to food allergies, but I have a family of five who doesn’t dine out because of lack of choice for our 10 and 12-year old boys with Coeliac Disease. And I’m not alone.”
People looking to dine out with food allergies have to work really hard to find tasty options. Some venues offer eggs on gluten free bread, or maybe grilled meat and salad without dressings, but it makes for a pretty boring meal choice compared to the rest of the menu.
Annabel says, “The range of allergy-friendly foods in supermarkets has steadily improved over the last 10 years, so we eat really well at home, but the kids can’t seem to find food they enjoy when we eat out. And like most people with food allergies, we need to know that the food has been prepared using separate utensils so the meals aren’t contaminated.
“My kids don’t want to eat salad when their friends are eating pies and chips and burgers. And there’s never anything interesting for dessert. Bliss balls and raw nut bars are all there seem to be,” says Annabel. “It’s time to think beyond salads and bliss balls.”
Annabel understand the issues of cross-contamination, having two kids who need to eat gluten-free and three other family members who don’t. “I’ve been successfully managing cross-contamination in my kitchen for 10 years, so now FeedMeToo is here and ready to show commercial kitchens that you can offer better allergy-friendly food options and avoid cross contamination too.”
Food Allergy Facts
· Food allergy induced anaphylaxis has doubled in the last 10 yearsi
· Researchii on members of Australia’s leading food allergy support group found 70% of don’t feel confident eating away from home
· Similar researchiii found 84% of Coeliac Australia members would like to eat out more but aren’t confident
· 99% of gluten free customers are likely to return after a good dining experience and they don’t dine out aloneiv
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