Restaurants Canada’s 2014 Chef Survey: Allergy awareness the number-one concern


Posted: Friday, March 21, 2014 by Allie Gallant

The 2014 Restaurants Canada (formerly the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservice Association, CFRA) tradeshow was held in Toronto from March 2–4, 2014.

A presentation by Laurie Harada, Executive Director of Anaphylaxis Canada, highlighted the growing importance of allergen awareness in our communities.

The Serving Consumers with Food Allergies session looked at the results of the Restaurants Canada 2014 Chef Survey, which were made public on March 3rd. After four years with the topic of local food in the top spot, gluten-free/food-allergy awareness become the number-one topic of concern this year.

Survey says…

The top ten topics in this year’s survey were:

  1. Gluten-free/food-allergy awareness
  2. Quinoa
  3. Locally sourced foods
  4. Leafy greens (e.g., kale, Swiss chard, mustard greens, collard greens, dandelion, beet greens, etc.)
  5. Craft beer/microbrews
  6. Food smoking
  7. Heirloom fruit and vegetables (e.g., tomatoes, beans, apples)
  8. Charcuterie/house-cured meats
  9. Food trucks
  10. Inexpensive/underused cuts of meat (e.g., beef cheek, brisket, pork shoulder, skirt steak, etc.)

The survey also revealed that 62% of respondents still don’t have a formal food allergy-management program in place at their restaurants.

Making training accessible for food service and retail workers

In answer to the clear need for greater awareness of food allergies, Anaphylaxis Canada, in partnership with TrainCan Inc., announced the release of a new employee-training program, Allergen Training for the Foodservice and Food Retail Industry.

In keeping with current advancements in developing a safe food culture among employees, the training includes a “learn, prevent and respond” strategy that educates staff on safe behaviors and emphasizes personal responsibility in keeping allergens segregated from other foodstuffs.

The training can be completed either as a self-study course or in group sessions. Successful completion relies on achieving a grade of 75% or higher.

“The Canadian diner has a heightened awareness of food intolerances, allergies and ingredients, and chefs are taking note,” says Garth Whyte, Restaurants Canada’s CEO, in a company press release. “We’ve been keeping an eye on this trend, and created a restaurant-focused food allergy guide to help our members cater to customers’ diverse needs in a safe environment.”

For more information about the Allergen Training for the Foodservice and Food Retail Industry program, contact Anaphylaxis Canada at trainingservices@anaphylaxis.ca.

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