The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Environmental Health Specialists Network conducted an interview with restaurants.
They found that most of the 278 restaurants they interviewed did not follow practices that minimize cross-contact or accidental ingestion of food allergens.
Cross-contact is the transference of proteins. This occurs when an allergen is inadvertently transferred from a food containing an allergen to a food that does not contain the allergen.
The truth is, cooking does not reduce or eliminate the chances of a person with a food allergy having a reaction to the food eaten. This can happen when utensils, pots, pans, or hands are not properly washed and sanitized between food preparations
I called the FDA in June only to confirm something I already knew. They don’t govern restaurants. Strangely enough, food allergy training is left up to each state and varies from state to state.
California has not passed any statutes or regulations that require restaurants to publish dish ingredients or warn customers about possible allergens, though restaurants can, and frequently do, include warnings of their volition.
Are restaurants to blame for so many reported deaths of patrons with food allergies? This is a question that continues to draw attention in the news today. We did some digging to find the facts and along with our knowledge and experience in the food service industry share our opinion on this subject.
Nearly half of reported fatal food allergy reactions over a 13-year period were caused by food from a restaurant or other food service establishment. (1)