#6 How NOT To KILL Your Customers : Hidden Extra

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#6 How To KILL Your Customers with Hidden Extras

There are several ways a customer could accidentally consume something:

1. Food contains ingredients that people (including the chef or server) would NOT expect. Such as milk in vegan products or fish in a dessert. It isn't written down in a usable format.

2. Untrained food service staff may overlook “traces” from cooking e.g., a fries cooked in the fat fryer with dairy, egg, fish or shellfish (see McDonald’s Vegan Rebel burger allergen information – it Vegan Society Trademarked – it's entirely legal, go look, they, you and I may understand the legalities but consumers may not).

3. “may contains” are used extensively on food packaging to warn people NOT to eat products made on the same machine or in the same facility as allergens. E.g. “may contain nuts” on chocolates, ice cream, but some are unexpected (hummus may contain nuts) etc. But a lack of "may contain" is not "Free-from"

4. Restaurants may have many “may contains” on ingredients from their suppliers, but then they forget to add their own or they add “everything is in everything” disclaimer or "we cannot guarantee". However, if a customer sees that there are no nuts on a menu, or its a vegan restaurant which "may contain" animal products, customers may ignore disclaimers as “legal jargon” as it makes no sense to them.

5. Vegan ingredients are commonly manufactured in the same place as non-vegan items, "may contains" are normal, particularly dairy, or eggs in processed "fake meat or dairy". but seems odd to the consumer.

Cow’s or milk don't generally just fall from the sky (like gluten/flour dust).

If you make food from scratch in house – shout about it. It's special.

6. Garnish, marinates, dressings, sauces, seasoning, optional extras, gravy, sides, dips, toppings and other items open to being served to customers may have been forgotten on allergy information.

7. Various components of dishes are made in other kitchens (dark kitchens, large catering facilities, or way in advance) so the risk of contamination isn't controlled by the business the customer is asking.

8. Substitutions by the supplier or in house - they switch ingredients because they are out of stock. These items will be very similar, but the allergen information may be completely different.

Particularly during the pandemic and now due to shortages from Russia or the Ukraine….this is a difficult thing to manage.

A mega franchise have no nuts in any of their ingredients (which they control throughout the supply chain)…however they will not claim to be nut free as their staff or other customer may introduce nuts. Similarly a coffee shop may serve allergy friendly food in the original packaging. There is a element of risk in food outlets, that cannot be controlled.

If this scares you, you can join my FREE 5 Day Challenge to avoid some risks. Please register at inclusivefoodservice.com/register

Or if you'd like a more drip fed group programme, http://wellintentionedfoodies.com


It's not just common sense.

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