Prepping for an Allergy Emergency

Common food allergens: What they are and where to find them


  • Hot dogs
  • Salad dressing
  • Shellfish


  • Ice cream
  • Root beer
  • Candy


  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Chili
  • Graham cracker crust

Tree Nuts

  • Barbecue sauces
  • Flavored coffee
  • Frozen desserts


  • Potato chips
  • Rice cakes
  • Batter-fried foods


  • Vodka
  • Chicken nuggets
  • Low-fat peanut butter
  • Hot chocolate


  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Meatloaf
  • Caesar dressing


  • Fish stock
  • Seafood flavoring
  • Bouillabaisse

How to prevent cross-contamination

Clean your hands

Before preparing a new dish, scrub your hands using soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds.

Use new utensils

Grab a new set of utensils each time you handle a food allergen.

Ask questions

Not sure whether you’re following procedure? Don’t take a chance—ask your supervisor for help.

Reporting an emergency

Call 911

Provide the dispatcher with the restaurant’s address.

Describe the diner’s symptoms

Common symptoms include hives, swelling of the throat and air passages, an irregular pulse and loss of consciousness.

Clear the area

Give medical personnel enough room to quickly enter the restaurant and attend to the diner.

Remember, symptoms typically appear within a few minutes to two hours after a person has eaten food to which he or she is allergic.


Each shift, a member of the kitchen staff should be appointed to review and follow a thorough allergy checklist. Get in touch with one of the assigned food allergy managers on shift for more information.