FOOD ALLERGIES & FOOD INTOLERANCES
June 2023 | © Copyright to Harrison Catering Services Limited | Issue Status D - Web Version V3
Harrison Catering Services has operated a Food Allergy Policy for more than 20 years with the prime objective of protecting the health and welfare of those customers who suffer from food allergies or food intolerances. The policy is under constant review and is regularly updated based on Legislative requirements, Company experience, Industry best practice, FSA technical guidance, and Official codes of practice.
The Company recognise the fact that a relatively small number of its customers may suffer allergic reactions or may be intolerant to one or more of the commonly eaten foods and that the transfer of accurate information between the Catering Manager and the customer about the ingredients of any food on display for sale or being served is the best method of managing the risk, enabling the customer or their representative to make an informed choice.
The 2014 Regulations list the 14 most common food allergens (celery, cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, eggs, fish, lupin, milk, molluscs, mustard, nuts, peanuts, sesame, soybeans and sulphites) and require that information regarding the ingredients of any food offered for sale or service is made available to customers.
The Company policy is to produce and serve food made from individual ingredients wherever possible which then enables the Company to know which ingredients have been used and to pass this information to our customers when a request is made about the ingredients of a particular dish or food item.
An Ingredient List is generated for each dish or food item produced in the kitchen and details all the ingredients used and states if any of the 14 most common food allergens are an ingredient in the dish or food item.
Some ingredients do carry a “May Contain” statement from the producer or manufacturer that a certain food allergen may be present in the product. To avoid any confusion and risk, this is recorded on the Ingredient List that the dish or food item does contain the food allergen referred to and this is the information given to the customer when they ask about the presence of food allergens in the dish or food item they wish to choose.
Some children can have a partial allergy or intolerance to foods such as eggs, milk or gluten and have been advised they can consume these items in one form but not in another (often referred to as the “Egg, Milk or Gluten Ladder”). The Company cannot accept responsibility for serving food in this manner and deciding what level of the food allergen is safe for them to eat. When any trials have been completed away from the school environment and the child no longer has an allergy or intolerance to these food items, the Company and the School should be informed and the Food Allergy Management Form updated so that the child can be served with the appropriate foods.
The term “Free-from” cannot be used in relation to any food which is prepared or produced in the kitchen using a number of different ingredients. To use the term “Free-from” requires strict control of ingredients and strict handling procedures which are not possible in a busy catering kitchen. Making a “Free-from” claim is a guarantee that the food is suitable for customers with an allergy or intolerance and the Company cannot give this guarantee. Where there is a specific client requirement (for example) the use of some “Gluten-free” items such as bread, bread rolls, and pasta, these can be served with accompaniments from the daily menu which do not contain gluten as an ingredient.
A notice is displayed in a prominent position in the servery advising those customers who suffer from a food allergy or food intolerance to ask about the ingredients of a dish or food item on display for service every time before they make their decision and selection.
The member of catering staff who receives a question from a customer regarding food allergies will pass it to the Catering Manager or Senior Person in charge for them to check the Ingredient List and give the answer orally to the customer or their representative for them to make an informed decision.
There are additional Company procedures in primary / prep schools to safeguard those individuals, especially the very young, where they are unable to properly communicate their dietary needs and make a safe dietary choice. The following process should be implemented in all primary / prep schools: -
- Food Allergy & Food Intolerance Management Form completed by parent / guardian and sent to the school office
- Parent / guardian to provide medical evidence to the school from a qualified medical professional about the food allergy or food intolerance that affects the child.
- The school provides an up-to-date photograph of the child along with the completed Food Allergy & Food Intolerance Management Form to the kitchen for the food allergy folder.
- Every service, the child is presented at the servery counter to the member of catering staff:- (in order of preference)
- by a member of school staff
- by a lanyard worn by the child which details their name and food allergy and is clearly visible to the member of catering staff before the child is served with any food
- by a coloured wristband worn by the child which is clearly visible to the member of catering staff before the child is served with any food
- A double check is made against the food allergy folder before the child is served
- The service of food to a child with a food allergy cannot be reliant on facial recognition by the member of catering staff
The 2021 Regulations make additional provisions for food which is pre-packed for direct sale (referred to as PPDS) and require the food to be labelled with a full list of ingredients. Food is classified as PPDS if: -
- The food is presented to the consumer in packaging
- The food is packaged before the consumer selects it
- The food is packaged at the same place where it is sold
- The food is either fully or partly enclosed by the packaging
- The food cannot be altered without opening or changing the packaging
- The food is ready for sale or service to the final consumer
Food items which are sold or served as PPDS are labelled with a full list of ingredients and food allergy information in accordance with this legislation.
The Company handles many of the 14 most common food allergens in its busy kitchens serving some of them as part of the normal menu and using some of them as ingredients in dishes and food items made on site. Appropriate supervision, instruction and training is provided for all catering staff relating to food allergies but there can be no absolute guarantee that our food is 100% free from specific food allergens as many of the 14 most common food allergens are used as normal ingredients in the preparation of the many different food items produced in the kitchen.
Full detail of the all the Company food allergy management policies, processes and procedures can be found in the Company Food Hygiene Manual.
Parent / Guardian Notice
Food Allergies and Food Intolerance
As a leading and responsible catering Company, we have the duty to comply with food safety law and we want to be able to serve meals made with quality freshly produced food which meets food safety and hygiene standards and is enjoyable, balanced and safe to eat. We recognise that a small number of children have an allergy or intolerance to a commonly eaten food and we endeavour to serve them with food which is safe for them to eat.
We follow guidance from the Food Standards Agency and other official bodies and we consider that proper communication and exchange of accurate information between everyone concerned is the key area to allow the food allergy or intolerance to be managed in the best interests of these children.
This Notice relates only to medically diagnosed food allergies or food intolerances (including autoimmune diseases such as Coeliac disease which requires the removal of gluten from the diet). It does not cover any other dietary or lifestyle choices.
If your child has a partial allergy or intolerance to a certain food (e.g., is on the egg ladder, milk ladder or the gluten ladder) you may have been advised they can consume these items in one form but not in another. Harrison is unable to accept responsibility for this and deciding what level of the food allergen is safe for them to eat and it is unable to serve foods containing egg, milk or gluten in any form to your child. When any trials have been completed and your child no longer has an allergy or intolerance to these food allergens, the school should be informed and a new Food Allergy Management Form completed so that your child can be served with the appropriate foods.
We have to make sure that information regarding the ingredients of any food being served to children is made available. We follow these requirements and keep an up to date Ingredient List / Recipe Card for each dish produced in the school kitchen so we can identify if any of the 14 common food allergens are present in the food and the correct choice can be made as to which food those children who have a food allergy or intolerance can safely be served with.
We take all reasonable care and precautions to identify and control the ingredients being used but, there can be no absolute guarantee that any dish will not contain any of the 14 common food allergens as this can occur as a trace from an ingredient, as a result of the list of ingredients from the supplier not declaring its presence or as a result of accidental cross contamination in the kitchen or counter from something as simple as serving spoons being accidentally used for more than one item.
If your child has a food allergy or food intolerance, you must send a completed Food Allergy & Food Intolerance Form to the school office, for us to serve them.
This is required so that you can:
A completed Food Allergy & Food Intolerance Management Form allows the school and Harrison to:
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FOOD ALLERGY OR INTOLERANCE
Harrison Catering uses many of the 14 common food allergens in its busy kitchens and is aware that some customers may have an allergy or intolerance to some foods and ingredients used in the food service offered by the Company.
If you have a food allergy or intolerance please speak to the member of staff who is serving you about your requirements every time you purchase or are served with the food and they will check with the Catering Manager or Chef about the ingredients in the food on display as it may have been necessary to change some of the ingredients since the last time you purchased or were served with the same food.
If there is any doubt about the ingredients in a particular dish, you should not consume the food. Please note that some ingredients used do carry “May Contain” advice, in this instance you will be advised that the food does contain the specific food allergen.
Please, never try to guess the ingredients in a dish.