You may have gotten away with overlooking dietary restrictions the last time you placed a catering order—they’ll just choose another gluten-free option on the table, right? But failing to address a severe food allergy, say, to peanuts or to a tree nut (which are different allergies), can have dire consequences, the most severe form being anaphylactic shock, according to Food Allergy Research & Education.
As the office hero tasked with ordering early morning pastries and lemon pasta for events and business meetings, you’re probably most familiar with your coworkers’ eating habits. You’re the first to know that Suzy in marketing went vegetarian last year, Bob in accounting has a dairy sensitivity, and Kim hates green vegetables of all varieties. But addressing life-threatening dietary restrictions, like a tree nut allergy, is far more crucial than the lunch requests of an employee embarking on a diet fad.
Managing nut allergies at work presents a whole new set of challenges for office admins. Besides the fact that food plays such an integral role in professional development, food is also associated with serious health concerns. Severe allergic reactions to food have skyrocketed to an alarming 377 percent from 2007 to 2016, according to a study conducted by FAIR Health. Consider the fact that peanut allergies are the leading cause of death due to food-related anaphylaxis in America, according to a study published this year, and you might look at Thai peanut chicken noodles a little differently. Meanwhile, tree nuts can also hurt; tree nut allergies affect up to 0.6 percent of the US population. Adverse reactions occur almost immediately and can range from minor to severe; with food allergies, you cannot be too careful, especially with food that you have not prepared yourself.
Foods attributed to peanut and tree nut allergies, such as peanuts, walnuts and chia seeds, are popular ingredients used to incorporate texture and flavor in dishes. This means you’ll have to take extra care to ensure your next catering order is nut-free and safe for all. Ahead, we’ll discuss how likely it is that you’ll need to address an allergy to peanuts and tree nuts in your future catering menus and what you must watch for to avoid dangerous side effects. Then, we’ll offer tips on how to build an inclusive menu sensitive to this common issue.
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