Eating at restaurants when you’re highly allergic to particular ingredients can be scary. You want to trust that restaurant owners will do everything in their power to keep you safe, but there are never any guarantees. While you must put all your faith in food preparers, there are sometimes ways to know that some restaurants care more about your dietary requirements than others. 

They’re Transparent About All Ingredients

The last thing any restaurant owner wants is to be contacted by a personal injury lawyer because someone died after eating food with ingredients they were allergic to. Fortunately, some of the best restaurants are transparent about all ingredients in their packaged and unpackaged goods. 

While some can be wary about giving away their ‘secret’ ingredients, they are typically more than happy to tell you about any trace ingredients and allergens that might impact your dining experience. 

They Write Allergen Details On Menus 

Restaurant legislations regarding allergens vary from state to state. It’s law in some states to display food allergy awareness posters for employees and place notices on menus regarding allergens included in foods. However, it’s not a legal requirement in all states. 

Some restaurants show that they care about your safety more than others by ensuring that possible allergens are listed on food boards, menus, and websites, for customers to see. Diners can then make an informed decision about the food they buy and eat. 

They Train Their Employees

Education can be vital for ensuring all employees working with food understand the importance of working with allergens. While some people can be exposed to trace allergens without falling ill, others can become extremely unwell and even die. 

The safest restaurants can often be those that educate and train their employees to understand how allergen and hygiene-related problems can occur and how to prevent them from happening. Well-educated employees are typically confident with the information they have and are happy to answer any questions you ask in detail. 

They Clearly Pass On Diners’ Requests

Miscommunication can be an issue that arises in any restaurant, but there is often very little room for error as far as allergens are concerned. The best restaurants have clear, established steps for how to take orders with allergen requests, communicate them to the kitchen, and ensure they are prepared safely. 

Chefs will also have set procedures in place themselves, such as using a separate area of the kitchen with separate chopping boards, knives, and utensils to avoid cross-contamination

How Can a Restaurant Be Liable for Food Allergens?

You want to enjoy peace of mind knowing that the restaurant you purchase food from takes your allergy seriously. However, that doesn’t always happen. Some restaurants might be liable for food allergies if they do some of the following things: 

  • Provide incorrect information about ingredients and allergens
  • Cross-contaminate food, resulting in an allergic reaction
  • Don’t protect or inform customers regarding common allergens
  • Don’t respond appropriately if someone has an adverse reaction 

You should always feel safe enjoying your favorite foods at a restaurant, but it’s not always guaranteed. However, you might enjoy peace of mind that your food is suitable to consume if you identify these actions above in restaurants you visit.