Monday, April 7, 2014

No ifs, ands, or NUTS!

Cross Contamination – Part II

Be on the lookout!!  Cross contamination can happen outside of the factory, too!!

Everyone knows that people responsible for food preparation in restaurants are conscious of washing their hands before they begin work.  Many will also wear gloves to be extra cautious.  But what if they are working with peanut products?  Do they wash their hands with soap and water after cutting a slice of banana nut bread? Do they change their gloves after plating chicken that had been fried in peanut oil?  If not, they can contaminate food that is considered peanut-friendly.

Utensil contamination is also a concern.  A restaurant kitchen is frantic at times, so establishments that offer wide assortments of choices are especially worrisome to a peanut allergy sufferer.  While the server may confirm that a particular food choice is safe, the person with a peanut allergy has to be concerned with other items on the menu that contain nuts.  The biggest concern is cross contamination of the utensils.  Is the knife that cuts the peanut butter and jelly sandwich cleaned properly before it slices into a turkey wrap?

Always tell your server if you have any type of food allergy.  Explain what you are allergic to and what you need to avoid.  If you are reluctant about the safety of a restaurant, go somewhere else.  There are plenty of peanut-friendly choices. 

Keep out of the nut house!

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