With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life.

29 April 2017

Food Allergy Consumer News: CDC Study Begins to Look at Restaurant Management of Food Allergens

In Google alerts today, there is an article from a law firm specializing in food safety litigation regarding CDC study on restaurants and food allergies. It's an interesting study but the researchers had a very low response rate--only 32.6%! And they only had 6 sites in the entire U.S., two of which were in New York. Few conclusions can be made from such a preliminary study, but at least research into this very important topic is beginning. As the abstract states "The findings in this report are subject to at least four limitations. First, because the interview responses were self-reported, they are subject to social desirability bias, which might have resulted in overreporting of appropriate practices. Second, because interviewed food workers and servers were selected by managers, and not at random, their responses might not represent the experiences or practices of all food workers and servers. Third, because the data were collected from English-speaking staff members only, they might not reflect practices in restaurants where no one speaks English. Finally, the low response rate (32.6%) might have resulted in an overrepresentation of restaurants with better food allergy practices."

With the increasing rates of food allergies, much more research is needed to develop a better understanding of restaurant handling of food allergies. We all can agree that greater food allergy awareness and education is needed.

Food Allergy Buzz encourages you to read some of the abstract or Journal of Food Protection article to draw your own conclusions about the research undertaken so far., without "spin" from commentators. Here is the Journal of Food Protection article regarding the study, entitled "Food Allergy Knowledge and Attitudes of Restaurant Managers and Staff: An EHS-Net Study", an abstract of the study and a link to the law firm's article regarding the study.

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