New free national food allergy e-training program designed for cooks and chefs

2019 July NSCC websitesmall30 July 2019

A free, potentially life-saving online food allergy training program for cooks and chefs, funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, has today been launched by the National Allergy Strategy, a partnership between the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA).

Developed in conjunction with chefs and cooks with experience in commercial kitchens, “All About Allergens: The next step for cooks and chefs” focuses on food preparation, handling and storage, and highlights the importance of effective communication between the kitchen and other staff and consumers with food allergy.

Two courses – one for general food service and another for camp providers – have been developed to provide information relevant to the specific settings. The first All about Allergens course should be completed before undertaking the new course for cooks and chefs.

The free online courses aim to provide practical information for cooks and chefs. The National Allergy Strategy has engaged with key stakeholders, including conducting a focus group with chefs, to ensure that resources are developed that will help make managing food allergies easier for food service providers.

In addition to the online courses, supporting resources have also been developed to help food service providers implement appropriate strategies for food allergen management. Templates for food allergy policies, audits and a food allergen menu matrix have been developed along with a food allergen ingredient substitution table. For camps, a template to document camp participant food allergies has also been created.

The National Allergy Strategy is also commencing a food allergy awareness campaign aimed at communicating the shared responsibility when it comes to food allergen management in food service. Consumers, food service providers, legislators and those who conduct inspections and audits of premises, all have a role to play in food allergen management.