FAIRFAX, Va. — With one in 25 Americans reporting a food allergy, restaurants are increasingly likely to have customers who require a special meal. "Welcoming Guests With Food Allergies" provides tools to train restaurant staff to safely prepare and serve food to guests with food allergies.
 
Available free for download from www.foodallergy.org, this comprehensive program is an updated and revised version of an earlier training program published by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN).
 
This 60-page guide includes case studies, best practices, up-to-date research, food labeling information and practical strategies for avoiding cross contact, as well as suggested procedures for keeping guests safe and steps to prepare for an allergic emergency. Restaurants can use this guide as a basis for their food allergy management programs.
 
"Studies show that reactions in restaurants are often caused by lack of staff education about food allergy. In a number of situations, the guests did not inform the staff of their allergy. Serving guests with food allergies requires staff education and clear communication between guests and staff," said Anne Munoz-Furlong, founder and chief executive officer of FAAN. "This training program helps staff achieve those goals so everyone can have an enjoyable and safe restaurant meal."
 
FAAN originally developed the program in cooperation with the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and its members. According to the NRA, nearly half of the money Americans spend on food is spent in restaurants.

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