Allergic Reaction

It does however pose the question of artistic flare in the kitchen

With the implementation of new allergen legislation that comes into force in December, we’ve got our heads full of nuts, crustaceans and molluscs recently. From 13th December 2014 all foods that are served unpackaged to the public have to be analysed to see if they contain any of the 14 approved allergens. I won’t list them all here; I don’t want you to lose interest on paragraph 1.

Apparently in the UK at least 1-2 % of adults and 5 –8 % of children have a food allergy. The new legislation will introduce a system that if questioned, the retailer / supplier will have to be able to inform their customers of what, if any, allergens are in any specific dish.  As you can imagine here at Lemon Zest we have vast menu’s to choose from so collating all the information has been arduous.

Adrian our head chef has been updating his recipe sheets to now include the relevant information and this has involved checking the sub ingredients used to create his final dishes. In doing this he has uncovered some strange findings. For instance did you know that Worcestershire sauce contains fish? Or that sulphites are a commonly used preservative? Neither did we and to be truthful, we wish we had not  been forced to uncover this knowledge.

With a month to go we are about 75% compliant and will be 100% by December. It does however pose the question of artistic flare in the kitchen. The days of deviating from the spec sheet are soon to be long gone in case an allergen is inadvertently added. Surely the reason people eat out is to experience something a little different. To us it’s like asking a musician to always follow the music score when playing live. Let’s hope for the sake of our industry that you foodies out their do not decide to stay at home and listen to the CD instead.