More than 10% of American adults have food allergies. Eating out with a food allergy is supposed to be an enjoyment but it has turned out to be very stressful for them. Only packaged food has to have an allergy warning from the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004. This act does not say anything about menus in restaurants. As a result of this, a large number of food allergy reactions happen in restaurants.
Of a study done on restaurants and food allergies, only 30% of them could name the three major food allergies people have. In addition to this, less than half of the restaurant staff that were interviewed had training on how to deal with food allergies. This makes people with food allergies very anxious when they try to communicate to their server about a food allergy they have. People who work at restaurants are over confident that they know how to deal with food allergies and what is actually in the items that they serve on the menu.
A lot of waiters and chefs in restaurants do not take
having a food allergy seriously. Even when restaurant staff are trained on how to deal with food allergies there is no full proof that they know what to do when a situation comes. Also, some restaurant staff feel annoyed or even don’t believe them when someone says that they have a food allergy and are eating there. This is not okay especially when people can’t control having food allergies. This leaves the customer feeling even more unsafe eating out at a restaurant. When restaurants are really welcoming and can easily accommodate people with food allergies, it makes them feel a lot safer. And when restaurants are very good about knowing what is in the dish, or having a totally separate area in the kitchen, it makes people feel even better.