The Most Common Allergens

Posted on October 4, 2017 by Michelle Locke

Allergies are a serious concern at restaurants. Kitchens can be hectic, messy places despite even our best efforts and kitchen staff are only human, after all. They make mistakes just like everyone else.

We believe information is the greatest resource when it comes to ensuring safety in your restaurant. This month on our blog, we are sharing all aspects of safety and training for your restaurant—and that means protecting those with allergies in your restaurant.

A Note on Allergies

As with any blog post on allergies, it should be noted that almost no restaurant kitchen is capable of being no-contact for some allergies. For those with severe allergies, this will prevent them from being able to eat in your restaurant.

( Click here to read our other blog post on allergies.)

Printing a warning on your menu about not being able to guarantee a “no-contact” or “clean” kitchen goes a long way towards preventing accidents. This will alert anybody with a potential severe allergy to the reality that food from your kitchen will not necessarily be safe for them to consume.

What Are the Most Common Allergens?

There are 8 allergens that are most common. Knowing these allergens will allow you to potentially create dishes appropriate for those with (less severe) allergies.

The most common 8 allergens are:

  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Milk
  • Nuts from trees (including hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, and Brazil nuts)
  • Peanuts (groundnuts)
  • Shellfish (including shrimp, mussels, and crab)
  • Soybean
  • Wheat

( Click here to read about making food safety a priority.)

Some of these allergies are also related to others. For example, those with a peanut allergy are also likely to react to soy (and soybeans), green beans, kidney beans, and green peas. Those who are allergic to soy are often also reactive to soy protein, which is used as a preservative in nearly everything pre-packaged, from breakfast cereal and ice cream to pasta.

Sharing this information in your training helps to alert servers and food runners to the importance of allergens. Being able to recognize ingredients that may potentially harm a guest is extremely important.