Be mindful of any food allergies. Show consideration and respect to all customers who have dietary restrictions. The moment a customer discloses that they have a food allergy, the server should make a note of it on the ticket. The management should then be informed immediately. Many people who have food allergies call a restaurant in advance to make sure they can be accommodated. A description of the food allergy should be included in the written reservation.

What you should know about being allergic to nuts?

The immune system, which often fights infections, overreacts to proteins in nuts in those who have nut allergies. When a person consumes something containing the nut, their body interprets the proteins as dangerous invaders and mobilizes all of its resources to repel the intruder. This manifests in what we call an allergic reaction.

If you run a food chain, it is important to be aware of the food allergens involved when preparing or handling food. You might want to check out this course to know more about food allergy awareness and prevent liabilities against your business.

What are the symptoms of a nut allergy?

If an individual is allergic to nuts, they may experience a wide variety of symptoms after exposure. These symptoms can vary from mild to severe. Generally, the more nuts you are allergic to, the more symptoms you will experience. Symptoms of a nut allergy reaction can include: 

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Chest tightness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Anaphylactic shock

If your customer has any of these symptoms after contact with your food, please seek medical attention straight away.

How to respond if your customer has a nut allergy?

It’s critical that you keep your composure and take prompt action if you see a consumer exhibiting symptoms of an allergic reaction. Don’t leave the person alone because an allergic reaction can begin with mild or moderate symptoms that quickly worsen. Stay with them and make a medical assistance request.

Find the customer’s epinephrine auto-injector at the first indication of an allergic response (e.g. EpiPen, Anapen). The consumer should carry an epinephrine auto-injector around with them because it is both the duty of the customer and the food service establishment/employee to prevent an allergic response. The epinephrine auto-injector should be kept alongside the usage instructions.

Discuss whether antihistamines can be used to treat the customer’s symptoms if they are moderate and they are able to communicate. However, keep in mind that allergic reaction symptoms vary with each reaction and can get worse with time.

The second the client’s symptoms start to get worse, call an ambulance right away.

What is the best action plan if a customer with a nut allergy is in your restaurant?

Since many commercial food items that are not obvious sources of nuts utilize nut products as components, avoiding nuts can be difficult.

To instruct personnel on what to do in the event that a recognized allergen is consumed, allergy action plans are advised. A recognized healthcare expert who is involved in the patient’s treatment should endorse and sign the action plan after it has been prepared in collaboration with the treating team (doctor, allergist, pediatrician).

How to find nut-free restaurants?

There are online resources that act as guides to help diners find allergy-friendly restaurant chains that are mindful and considerate about the dietary restrictions of a customer. Some people use Spokin or AllergyEats

For instance, some restaurants have various servings on the menu that don’t include typical allergens or accommodate the requests of customers. A few examples of them are:

  • Chipotle
  • P.F. Chang’s
  • Moe’s Southwest Grill

How do you keep nuts out of your food?

Food allergies currently have no known treatments, therefore the only method to stop a reaction is to avoid the food in question. By avoiding food allergens and promptly identifying and managing allergic reactions to food if they do occur, some precautions can be taken to lower the risk of catastrophic health repercussions. You should:

  • be mindful of the possibility of cross-reactivity between related foods and non-allergenic foods coming into touch.
  • read food labels to avoid ingredients or products to which you are allergic.

How do people deal with their nut allergies when dining out?

There are several countermeasures that people with food allergies do when they are dining out to prevent emergencies involving allergic reactions. 

  1. Doing some research – They call the restaurant ahead of time to see if they can accommodate their needs and restrictions. 
  2. Choosing a dish that’s nut free – Being aware of certain foods that have typical allergens in them (such as peanuts, seafood, and dairy) is important.
  3. Having an emergency action plan – Bringing medications for emergency use could save their lives.