Today, nearly 15 million Americans are estimated to have some form of food allergy—a condition that causes the immune system to overreact when the body is exposed to specific triggers. Since these allergies can produce unpleasant symptoms—and present the life-threatening risk of anaphylactic shock—it’s critical for food truck owners to know how to best serve patrons with food allergies. If you operate a mobile food truck, following these five tips can help you keep your customers safe, as well as increase your public appeal.
How to Make a Food Truck Safe for Allergies
1. Use Clear Signage
Never expect patrons to advise you of their allergy from the start. Instead, be proactive by displaying clear signage that indicates any potentially dangerous ingredients that may be used in the kitchen. On the menu, indicate selections that may contain specific allergens—such as dairy, soy, shellfish, gluten, and nuts.
2. Study Labels Closely
Even if a food product you’ve purchased doesn’t contain a common allergen, it’s possible that it was prepared or packaged in a facility that was exposed to these ingredients. As you prepare your allergy-friendly menu, read through all food labels to ensure they weren’t processed in a potentially risky environment.
3. Address Cross-Contact Risks
While a certain menu item may appear safe, at-risk individuals may experience a reaction if anything used in its preparation came in contact with allergens. Using the same utensils, cutting boards, and cookware can possibly transfer allergens from other foods to those that are deemed safe. To circumvent these dangers, teach your staff how to avoid cross-contact contamination—such as by using clean, designated tools when handling allergy-prone orders.
4. Offer Modifications
To increase your mobile food truck’s accessibility, offer modifications to menu items that contain allergens. For example, if you serve burgers, you might offer a gluten-free bun to those with gluten allergies.
5. Train Employees for Emergencies
Following the above tips will greatly reduce the risk of an allergic reaction at your mobile food truck. However, it’s still important to be prepared in the event that an emergency happens. To keep your patrons safe, train your team on how to recognize signs of allergic reactions and call for immediate emergency help.
When it comes to reducing allergy risks, it’s also a good idea to have a well-designed mobile food truck. That’s why Shanghai Mobile Kitchen Solutions of Brooklyn, NY, takes pride in offering food truck design and repair services. Serving Philadelphia, Boston, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and North Carolina markets, this team of specialists will create a custom kitchen that is spacious and well-organized to minimize cross-contact dangers. They can also help you design visibly attractive menus that clearly address any allergy risks. Visit these experts online to see examples of their work or call (800) 253-4815 to schedule a consultation with a friendly design specialist.