Calls for accredited food allergy training
Posted on June 16, 2020
This week, The National Allergy Strategy welcomed the Walking the allergy tightrope report tabled by Trent Zimmerman, Chair of the Committee which conducted a parliamentary inquiry into allergies and anaphylaxis.
In the report, The National Allergy Strategy advocated for accredited food allergy training to be incorporated in hospitality courses.
The National Allergy Strategy called for the ‘inclusion of an accredited food allergen management training course that meets the National Allergy Strategy minimum standards for food allergen management training, in all hospitality training courses.’
Several submitters suggested a certificate to serve food safely with regard to allergies, similar to the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate:
“Given the increasing prevalence of anaphylaxis and the risk to life if hospitality staff inadvertently serve a person food containing that person’s allergen, I would like to see a mandatory ‘Allergies and Anaphylaxis’ training program that servers of food are required to undertake, similar to how servers of alcohol are required to undertake a ‘Responsible Service of Alcohol’ program.”
In relation to education and training, the Restaurant and Catering Industry Association (R&CA) suggested that allergen and anaphylaxis training be incorporated into food safety and handling training nationwide.
Currently, there are three levels of training available to employees within food businesses: a safe food handling certificate (both back and front of house) which is issued by state food regulation agencies, as well as at least one trained Food Safety Supervisor who is responsible for management of food safety practices across the business. Also, a single staff member (usually the front of house restaurant manager) will hold a full First Aid certificate. The Food Safety Supervisor may have some allergen training, but this is an optional competency in certain states and not common across food service businesses.
The R&CA has long held the view that mandating training for food handlers under a nationally consistent system is good public policy.
The parliamentary inquiry into allergies and anaphylaxis report is available to view from the weblink below.