Statistics show that one in every 13 or approximately 2.5 million Canadians suffer from a significant food allergy.
With such a substantial portion of the population suffering from allergies, it is especially important that we take this into consideration when planning events.
To ensure a safe and enjoyable time for all guests at an event, there must be clear communication between event staff and catering staff, as well as diligent pre-event safety planning. Follow these five tips to make sure your next event minimizes the impact of food allergies:
1. Improve your registration process so you know guests needs and their food allergies
When planning the event, make sure to send communication to your attendees indicating menu options and be sure to include a section for guests to indicate any food allergies. Ask guests about allergies ahead of time so that alternate options and arrangements can be made.
2. Communicate the needs of your guests to the food and beverage company well in advance
As soon as you are aware of any food allergies make sure that your catering company is aware. The sooner they know, the more prepared they can be to provide safe and healthy options for any allergy restrictions.
3. Make sure all buffets or menus are labelled well
Include labels such as “May contain nuts” or other items if caterers are not 100% sure if food items are allergen free. Labelled items make it easier for guests to determine what they can and cannot eat.
4. Communicate with the chef and the servers beforehand to make sure that the whole team understands what allergies are present and what ingredients are being served.
Guests will often ask servers about what ingredients make up each dish. To ensure that guests are safe from accidentally eating something that they shouldn’t, make sure that your staff are well informed about what food is being served.
5. Work with event staff to practice medical emergency protocols to respond just in case a serious allergic reaction does occur with one of your guests.
As event planners, you are reliable for making sure guests remain safe during the duration of the event. Food allergies are very important to consider to make sure your event is safe and enjoyable for everyone!