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Old 05-19-2006, 03:53 PM   #11
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It's the guests responsibility to inform the restaurant, server, hotel, manager, etc. of any allergies, especially because of cross contamination. Unless we know for sure we have a guest who is coming in that is allergic to say, peanuts, there's no way we can guarantee that a knife, cutting board, etc. has not come into contact with any peanuts because peanuts aren't a carrier for food borne illness like raw chicken or pork. If we do know a guest is allergic to a particular item, we either have them pre-order before they come in, or we have the server let them know the items that for sure has not come into contact with anything that they are allergic to. I mean, most menus will list the key ingredients in the dish, but we're not going to put stuff like peanut oil, all purpose flour, etc. in the item's description. The servers are all knowledgeable about any possible allergies in any item (nuts, gluten, shellfish, etc.) on the menu, and are tested on each item if they're a new hire, during menu changes, specials, etc. But again, I can't speak for every restaurant. I've mostly worked in hotels where it's a lot more strict regarding things of this nature.
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Old 05-19-2006, 08:28 PM   #12
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IC, and I've worked kitchens, sad to say, that were a lot less strict! I'm so impressed that your servers have that kind of knowledge!

Mish, I disagree about labelling - especially at a catered, buffet type event. I think everyone - even those w/out allergies, like to know what the dishes are, and I've seen folks peruse the posted menu, then go look for their faves on the table! A menu, done up in a pretty text (or a funky text, depending on the party!), framed and placed on an easel looks nice, and makes it easy for those with allergies to discreetly see what they can and cannot eat.
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Old 05-19-2006, 09:10 PM   #13
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Icy is this a follow-up to the post for preparing dishes (sandwiches) for a wedding reception? Or for an at-home party? Are you planning on making all the dishes yourself, or having some of it catered? Sorry, your post just says party, so it's unclear.

http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...ich-22397.html

Perhaps, if we had more details, we could give you more specific info.

Editing to add:

First, I would start with a plan:

What is the event
How many are attending
Sit-down dinner or buffet
Invitations/RSVPs?
Is there a choice of Main dishes? - Guests can tell you their choice & if they're allergic to anything - Kosher etc.- any special needs - and you can make notes

Before getting into menus, fonts, servers, etc., it helps to have more info.
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Old 05-20-2006, 12:01 AM   #14
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I assume we are still dealing with the niece's wedding reception with a finger food buffet for 200-300 people, IcyMist? No trained servers, nobody knowledgeable about the ingredients of each dish standing behind the table to answer questions about the food, just a few family members scurrying around in a frenzy to keep food on the table.

The main food allergies that you might need to worry about are gluten (wheat), nuts, dairy, shellfish and eggs - seeds can also be an allergin or a definate problem for people with diverticulitis (especially small seeds like poppy, sesame, etc) - and then the Kosher question.

If I remember right, you're down to about 3-4 weeks to finalize the menu and get things together ... you don't have a fixed "sit-down" menu people could select from when they RSVP'ed ... I would guess that if you had an RSVP option you didn't ask about any food restrictions so you could create a special menu for certain people. I would say label the dishes on the buffet table especially if the dish contains one of the main allergens - include info on the dish either in the name of the dish or a description under the name if you are worried about it. One way to accomplish this is with a formal menu posted at the head of the line (name of dish and ingredients where applicable) and then just label each dish with the name where applicable.

That's just what I would do at this stage of the game.
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Old 05-20-2006, 04:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmalady
IC, and I've worked kitchens, sad to say, that were a lot less strict! I'm so impressed that your servers have that kind of knowledge!
A lot of it depends on the chef, restaurant manager, etc. At every place I've worked at, I've taken it upon myself (if there was no procedure already in place) to create what is called a menu pick-up chart. This pick-up chart lists the name of the menu item, ingredients in the item, preparation method, firing (cooking) times, item description, allergies, and wine pairing. I make each server know it and I give them pop quizzes sometimes whenever they come into the kitchen during their shift.
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Old 05-20-2006, 05:55 AM   #16
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That's fantastic, IC - unfortunately the 2 restaurants I worked had scattered management and even more scattered chefs. Most of my jobs have been catering outfits; some were very good at 'screening' menu items as the planning was taking place; others - well - let's just say they were more interested in watching the pretty women drive by the kitchen windows than they were in the food prep.
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Old 05-20-2006, 08:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
The main food allergies that you might need to worry about are gluten (wheat), nuts, dairy, shellfish and eggs - seeds can also be an allergin or a definate problem for people with diverticulitis (especially small seeds like poppy, sesame, etc) - and then the Kosher question.
The wheat, dairy and eggs I am not as worried about because people who are allergic to those items are going to have to look out for themselves. I am just mainly concerned about the nuts and seafood. I think I will talk to my sister about making up little labels. ARGGGGGGGGGG I want my mommy, I am too busy to worry about all this stuff.
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Old 05-20-2006, 09:50 AM   #18
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Nuts to the Nuts...
In all seriousness today there are more recognized allergies than we have ever had. I would label the dish to show it has nuts (if you are so inclined), but don't stop using them. When I add nuts at home, in the restaurant or at catered events I rarely put out signage actually pointing out a nut dish. If I am making satays and I am serving a peanut sauce it's pretty obivous. If anything the most prevlant allergy that I have noticed the past two years has been wheat allergies (celiac patients).
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Old 05-20-2006, 09:45 PM   #19
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I made a test recipe of the chicken with sesame seeds and it was delicious. My sister and brother-in-law came over and picked up most of the appetizers that I had prepared for testing and all 3 were hits. One was crackers, fresh parmesan cheese sprinkled on it and then wrapped in half a slice of bacon and baked for 2 1/2 hours. Yummmmmmmy The second was the chicken and I am glad that I made it because I learned that I will have to be careful not to overcook it because it gets brown on the bottom and a little hard. But they were so good. The last appetizer that I tested was one with shrimp, onion, mayo, celery, garlic that you roll up in bread that has been buttered on the outside and flattened and then baked. Again it was a hit. My brother-in-law said that he will announce at the reception that if anyone has any allergies and want to know what is in a dish, just to get in touch with one of us and we will tell them. :)
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Old 05-21-2006, 07:01 AM   #20
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Icy - I'm curious as to how you're going to make all these, store them and transport to the reception hall; the food sounds lovely, but it also sounds a bit perishable - I can see the crackers getting soggy if they sit too long after cooking - is there an oven at the hall? Can you cook the chicken/shrimp roll-ups at the hall? This a LOT of prep work - how much help do you have?
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