Catering meals to guests with food allergies can be tricky when various people have different sensitivities to foods. Use our advice to accommodate those needs.
Food allergies are when your immune system reacts to a specific type of food. Many people have allergies to tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, milk/dairy, wheat, soybeans, etc. However, not everyone is susceptible to the same allergies—for example, African-Americans might have more food sensitivities toward peanuts than Caucasians. When you’re catering meals to a crowd of guests with food allergies, you must know how to create a menu that appeases everyone’s needs. Follow our guide below to learn how to accommodate guests with food allergies.
Ask for a List of Guests With Allergies Before the Event
Before you begin crafting a catering menu for your event, ask the guests who plan to attend to give you a list of their food allergies. Knowing which allergies to look out for will allow you to prepare food and meals appropriately. For instance, if no one’s allergic to milk or dairy, this is an allergy you don’t need to worry about.
If someone is allergic to peanuts, you must be mindful of the ingredients you’re using that could potentially contain peanuts. Keep this list of guests and their allergies near the meal-prepping station so that employees know of them when they begin cooking.
Prepare Additional Meals if Necessary
Unfortunately, some individuals may need the catering company to prepare a separate meal that is inclusive of their needs because they can’t eat the main dish. In some cases, you could use an alternate ingredient, but for some allergies, it’s best to prepare a whole other meal for this individual to ensure they receive the same amount of food as the other guests. Satisfaction is a priority for catering; accommodating various guests will show them that you care for their needs.
RELATED: Mistakes People Make When Cooking With Chicken Sausage
Put Labels on Dishes and Buffets
If you’re not physically serving each plate yourself or the event has a buffet table, label each dish with potential allergens so that guests know of them before choosing their food. If you forget this step in the serving process, you could create a dangerous situation for the guest with food sensitivity. Ensure your labels are large, in plain sight, and easy to read to avoid any mistakes or mishaps when you’re catering meals to guests with food allergies.
Food allergies are common among various individuals—and there will come a time when you need to cater an event with a guest with food sensitivity. Be mindful of what ingredients you’re using in your dishes, and keep alternatives on hand just in case you need to alter a recipe. Next time you need to accommodate this, use our advice to satisfy the guests.