Over 150 million people have allergies in Europe. Going on holiday with a food allergy can sometimes be daunting. That is why it is important for hotels and resorts to ensure the guest feels comfortable.
Inter – departmental communication is key in ensuring that all guests still receive the same high class experience. Information gathering regarding food allergies can start right from the very beginning with the reservations department. They can find out the relevant dietary requirements and any other information from the guest. They can source specific products and find out which local supermarkets stock the specific milk a child needs, for example. The purchasing department can then ensure they have the right ingredients to accommodate the guest. The F & B department can develop dishes or even a menu specifically for that guest to ensure they still have choices and the housekeeping department can make sure they don’t stock the wrong items in the mini fridge. Ensuring this information, once gathered, is communicated to all the relevant departments instills confidence in the guest and makes them feel relaxed even before their holiday commences.
It is imperative for F & B departments to be up to date with policies and procedures. In order for F & B departments to keep up to date they need to have an awareness of the most common allergies. The main foods which both children and adults are allergic to are milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. If the department know these allergies are common they can then ensure there are enough alternative options which do not contain these ingredients. They should also ensure they are labelling food correctly at all times, outlining all the ingredients contained in that dish and also providing full descriptions in menus. Staff should have access to ingredients of products in case the guest requests to see the packaging. To avoid cross contamination of foods, staff should ensure different utensils and containers are used whilst preparing and serving food.
With a 615% increase in hospital admissions for anaphylaxis between, 1992-2012, it is vital for the hospitality industry to provide the best possible care for both adults and children with allergies.
Megan Wilson, Operations Consultant, <span class=”notranslate”>Worldwide Kids</span>.