A free, potentially life-saving online food allergy training program for cooks and chefs, funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, has 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.
“Food allergy rates are continuing to rise in Australia, and we know that the majority of fatalities from food-induced anaphylaxis occur when people are eating out,” said Associate Professor Richard Loh, co-chair of the National Allergy Strategy and past president of ASCIA.
“So that is our area of focus with the All About Allergens online training program. We had great uptake of the first stage of the free All About Allergens program for people in the food service industry, so we’ve developed this next stage specifically for cooks and chefs to maximise their understanding of food allergies and hopefully reduce the number of food-induced allergic reactions we see.”
The first All About Allergens online food allergy training program has seen almost 11,000 food service industry workers from all over Australia enrol in the course since its launch in July 2017.
This next stage of the training program provides information specific to cooks and chefs and aims to educate them on the safest way to handle, prepare, cook and store food to prevent food-related allergic reactions.