FRL Aug/Sep 2011

Page 17

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By Susie McKinley

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FRLA Announces Online Training

Seafood Allergens hile most of us enjoy eating the bounty offered to us by Florida’s surrounding coastal waters, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, some folks aren’t able to enjoy seafood in any manner due to allergies. Seafood allergies are found in every population and can be very dangerous to those that are inflicted with them. There are two types of seafood allergies: shellfish and fish. Shellfish allergies are related to shrimp, lobster, crab and mollusks and fish allergies are commonly associated with “…scaly and bony fish such as cod, haddock, herring, sprat, halibut, mackerel, trout, grouper, snapper and salmon….” according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. A person can be allergic to one type of seafood and not be allergic to any others. The best way to prevent an allergic reaction due to a seafood allergy is strict avoidance. Symptoms of allergic reactions can include any or many of the following: sneezing, coughing, itching around face or neck, hives, tingling or swelling of the mouth, throat or lips, shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty in breathing, stomach pain or cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, fainting dizziness, unconsciousness, coma or death. Seafood allergies can be serious business for those who have them. Allergen awareness training for all food service employees is required by the 2009 U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Code. While there are more than 160 food allergens,

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food allergies are typically caused by the “Big 8”: fish, shellfish, nuts, tree nuts, dairy and milk products, soy and soy products, egg and egg products and wheat and wheat products. It is critical that all employees are aware of allergens, their causes and symptoms, and what to do when faced with a patron who is experiencing an allergic reaction. In addition, all food service workers must be trained in allergen cross-contamination prevention. As a proactive move in fending off customers’ allergic reactions to food, when greeting customers, FRLA recommends that all servers ask guests: “Do you have a food allergy that I should be aware of?” This courtesy to customers can prevent a lot of problems if used consistently by servers. Potential food allergens are in every food service operation. It is your responsibility to ensure that food allergens don’t cross-contaminate other food items. To prevent cross-contamination use clean and sanitized equipment, wash

ffective August 11, 2011, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is approving online training as a new method of delivery for food service employee training. Online training programs approved by DBPR must have a “DBPR Approved Program Provider Number,” and therefore, be an “approved program” prior to delivering legally-acceptable online training. The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Provider Number 1752486, is proud to announce that it is offering food service employee online training to the Industry. FRLA’s program will cost $11.95 for members and $14.95 for non-members. It meets all of the requirements mandated by Florida law. Florida is a leader in food safety training and certification requirements. Florida’s number of foodborne illness outbreaks has trended downward 87% since the late to mid-1990s and much of this trend is due to a stringent food safety training and certification program for managers and employees. FRLA is proud to be a part of this effort by providing its SafeStaff ®Foodhandler Online Training Program to the Industry. FRLA is DBPR’s contracted provider of employee foodhandler training. For more information, please visit www. SafeStaff.org or contact our Education and Training Department at (850) 224-2250 or (866) 372-7233.

(Continued on Page 22) F lo r i da R estaura n t & Lo d g i n g

Introducing

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SafeStaff® Online Foodhandler The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association

is proud to announce that it is now offering

The SafeStaff® program is convenient, affordable

and meets all of the requirements mandated