KA-POW! Comic strip helps kitchens defeat allergen evils

The Hazards of Allergens comic books

Operators struggling with new allergen laws are being offered a special best practice guide that takes its inspiration from old-fashioned Superhero comic books.

Making sure that the right allergen processes are being carried out by all staff all of the time remains an onerous task for operators, but it is hoped that providing support in the form of an industry cartoon strip will help employees remember what they need to know.

The guide has been conceived by members of the Allergen Accreditation scheme, who feared that creating bog standard flow charts and written policies for safe allergen management would just add to the long list of files already present in most kitchen offices and be ignored by staff.

Their ‘Hazards of Allergens’ cartoon strip is designed to be memorable and enjoyable to read, while educating staff on the key messages around allergen management.

Julian Edwards CEO of FSAM, which manages Allergen Accreditation, said: “We have been writing allergen and intolerance policies for some 20 years and it is very rare that we have seen these visibly available to staff in the catering businesses we visit,” he said. “These comics will bring to life what is normally a bind for caterers and it will make it so much easier for employers and managers to get staff to read them and sign that they understand them.”

Each issue contains a serious message on safe allergen management representing back-of-house and front-of-house procedures. Story lines include referring to written allergen data to double check for a customer, use of gloves, use of separate serving utensils and dealing with ‘May Contain’ statements.

Edwards added that he believes the guides will work really well as training handouts and reminders to staff, as well as induction tools for new starters and temporary staff. The Allergens of Hazard comic collection is freely available from Allergen Accreditation.

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