We all play an important role in keeping individuals with food allergies safe and included, and that starts with education about proper food safety when it comes to food allergens.
McLean, VA (PRWEB) September 11, 2014
Coinciding with National Food Safety Month, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) is releasing new food safety education and awareness materials designed to aid individuals and businesses in keeping people with food allergies safe and included at home and while dining out.
Joined by critically acclaimed Chef Joel Schaefer, former manager of product development and special diets for Walt Disney World Resort, FARE will share information on food allergy safety in print and on video, including:
- “Creating a Food Allergy Safety Zone in Your Home,” a booklet designed to aid families in understanding how to safely prepare food and eliminate cross-contact risks
- Two YouTube cooking tutorials in which Chef Schaefer shows how to make “Mac & Cheeze” and “Chicken Fried Steak” with proper food safety procedures and allergy-friendly ingredients
- FARE’s “Top 5 Kitchen Dos and Don’ts for Food Allergy Safety,” a list of tips for safe cooking for individuals with food allergies (see below)
“Food allergy awareness in home and restaurant kitchens is critical, and what better time to reinforce this than during National Food Safety Month?” said Mike Spigler, vice president of education at FARE. “FARE is thrilled to be partnering with Chef Joel Schaefer to equip families and restaurant staff with new recipes, tips and information to help them prepare safe meals for individuals with food allergies.”
FARE and Schaefer, along with his wife Mary, are also collaborating on “Cooking with the Allergy Chefs,” a new cookbook of allergy-friendly recipes to be released later this year. Today marks the launch of a recipe competition to choose which favorite dish will be reinvented to make it allergy-friendly and published in the cookbook. Voters can pick from dishes such as apple pie, wheat-free roux, and chicken cordon bleu casserole. Vote at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FARErecipes.
“I have dedicated my career to ensuring individuals with food allergies and special dietary needs can have safe and enjoyable dining experiences, and I am happy to be collaborating with FARE to put food safety resources and information in the hands of home and restaurant cooks,” said Chef Joel Schaefer. “We all play an important role in keeping individuals with food allergies safe and included, and that starts with education about proper food safety when it comes to food allergens.”
Earlier this year, FARE launched the SafeFARE website, http://www.safefare.org, which offers tools and resources for diners with food allergies, including tips to use before and during a visit to a restaurant, a customizable “Food Allergy Alert” chef card (now available in nine languages), and a searchable database that enables visitors to locate restaurants in their local area with staff members who have completed food allergen safety training
Top 5 Kitchen Dos and Don’ts for Food Allergy Safety
1. Use only thoroughly cleaned cutting boards, pots, pans and utensils. Consider buying separate pans and utensils with colored handles to help family members identify them.
2. Keep a designated area to store special products and equipment.
3. Wash your hands before preparing food for a person with food allergies.
4. Use fresh ingredients and cooking oils.
5. Designate special plates, either by shape or color, to help identify allergen-free meals.
1. Place allergen-free food directly on shared equipment, such as an outdoor grill.
2. Use utensils that have just been used to prepare allergen-containing foods, or that haven’t properly been cleaned, to prepare food for individuals with food allergies.
3. Use processed foods or foods that have been marinated unless you verify the ingredients.
4. Use foods that contain ingredients that you don’t know or can’t confirm.
5. Place safe meals in the same area as meals that may contain allergens.
Additional food safety tips and resources will be shared throughout the rest of the month on FARE social media. For more information about National Food Safety Month (NSFM), created by the National Restaurant Association in 1994, visit foodsafetymonth.com. For more information about food allergies, visit foodallergy.org.
Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis. This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in every 13 children in the U.S. – or roughly two in every classroom. FARE’s mission is to find a cure for food allergies, and to keep individuals safe and included. We do this by investing in world-class research that advances treatment and understanding of the disease, providing evidence-based education and resources, undertaking advocacy at all levels of government and increasing awareness of food allergy as a serious public health issue. For more information, please visit http://www.foodallergy.org and find us on Twitter @FoodAllergy, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest.