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FreeFrom – a black art in food service Michelle Berriedale-Johnson.

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Presentation on theme: "FreeFrom – a black art in food service Michelle Berriedale-Johnson."— Presentation transcript:

1 FreeFrom – a black art in food service Michelle Berriedale-Johnson

2 Why the sudden interest? Regulations coming into force in December 2014 requiring all food service outlets to provide information about major allergens in their food may be the catalyst but…. The market for freefrom in food service has been growing alongside that for retail but, to date, has just not been catered for.

3 Who are these people who all of a sudden need freefrom food? 1. Food allergy sufferers True food allergy (the sort that can kill) was almost unheard of 40 years ago, now 1 in 70 children has a potentially fatal nut allergy – and rising… 2. Coeliacs & those with NCGS Thought to be 1 in 300 10 years ago, now 1 in 100 – and rising…

4 3. IBS sufferers Up to 50% of population suffer from IBS at some point; most common cause – intolerance to dairy or wheat; most common treatment – elimination diet 4. Sufferers from other medical conditions Dietary restriction is an increasingly common treatment option for Crohns disease, IBD, UC and mental health problems. (The latter now cost NHS as much as CHD/cancer annually so cheap dietary treatment an attractive option.)

5 5. Self diagnosed food intolerants Those suffering from low level health problems who go dairy and wheat/gluten free and whose health appears to improve. 6. Lifestyle freefromers Those who believe that freefrom food is healthier, less processed, less polluted, more environmentally friendly, more ethically acceptable – and therefore choose to eat freefrom

6 and… all of their families and friends… Each of those food sensitive people has a partner, and/or a family and/or friends. While this is not particularly relevant in the retail world, it is very relevant in the food service where people go out together and will therefore look for an establishment where everyone can find something to eat.

7 So, altogether this is a LOT of people….

8 The retail food industry has not been slow to pick up on this new constituency – with a 15% plus growth year on year over the last 5 years – but this has not translated into food service. The vast majority of those with dietary problems simply do not eat out! Why Not?

9 Because – as of now: They do not trust food service outlets to give them food that will be safe and free of their particular allergen The choice of freefrom alternatives is so poor that there is no fun in eating out They feel awkward and embarrassed about being different and making a fuss

10 None of these are in superable problems but… Serving freefrom in food service does present greater challenges than manufacturing it in a dedicated facility for retail

11 Factory: In a factory you make one dish at a time, to a fixed recipe, in a relatively calm and ordered process. Food Service: In a food service outlet you may be producing many different dishes, all with different recipes (any of which might change from day to day) and you are subject to mad rushes when the only concern is to get the food to the customer.

12 Factory: Relatively easy to keep ingredients separate, and to time manufacture to minimise risk of contamination. Food Service: In a food service outlet, especially a small one with a small kitchen, it may be hard to keep ingredients separate and to dedicate space, utensils or dedicated time to allergen-free foods.

13 Maybe even more important… Food allergy, intolerance and coeliac disease are really complicated subjects… Factory: Employees usually only have to deal with a single process so only need to know about about the allergy risks for that process.

14 Food Service: 1. All kitchen and front of house staff need to understand about all of the dietary restrictions for which they are catering But…. 2. Vast majority of those who work in food service do not have English as their mother tongue 3. Staff turnover is extremely high 4. Training is notoriously poor even for food hygiene let alone allergy awareness.

15 Good enough reasons, you might think, for food service to have steered clear of freefrom up until now! But no more…. The opportunities are just too tempting. Regulation will require engagement.

16 Going free from? Four major issues to address: Allergy awareness and control Staff training, kitchen & front of house What food are you going to serve? Your menus

17 Allergen awareness & control Simon Flanagan is going to talk about this in detail later this morning so I will say no more that it is the bedrock of freefrom catering.

18 Staff training – vitally important…. Kitchen Front of house Training courses, manuals, consultants – even our very own Allergy Catering Manual

19 The Food Two approaches: Buy in prepacked freefrom food Create your own

20 Buy in & serve pre-packed – the easier option? Advantages for the customer: – Safety - the product is secure from kitchen contamination and staff error – They can read the ingredients so know exactly what they are eating Disadvantages for the customer: – May be less attractive and makes them stand out as special

21 Advantages for the outlet: – Safety - they do not need to worry about kitchen contamination – Staff training and allergy awareness becomes far less of an issue. – If they buy longlife/frozen they always have a freefrom offer available Disadvantages for the outlet: – Depending on the outlet it may not suit their their style/image/ethos

22 ..and, of course…. Successfully serving pre-packed bought in food depends on such products being: 1. Easily available at a reasonable price 2. Packed sufficiently attractively to be served in their packaging Nota Bene. Huge opportunity here for manufacturers, designers and packagers….

23 Creating your own freefrom offer In depth evaluation of existing menus and recipes to see which of those are already, de facto, gluten, dairy, egg, soya, nut etc free In depth evaluation of existing menus and recipes to see which of those could easily be made gluten, dairy, egg, soya, nut etc free

24 Realistic assessment of what freefrom dishes you can offer within the constraints of your kitchen space, staffing etc Sensible combining of bought in with freshly made dishes to minimise allergen risks and strains on kitchen/service Not being over-ambitious – at least to start with!

25 And lastly… freefrom-friendly menus Front of house staff and your menu are you points of contact with your freefrom customer Essential that menus are clear, consistent and informative – and encouraging!

26 Menus must be… Informative – if possible reflect potential allergenicity – satay sauce with peanuts/ traditional Bakewell Tart with Almonds and egg etc Consistent – if you give allergenic ingredients for one dish must give for all Accurate – must reflect any changes in the offer Backed up by good allergen information Exciting!

27 OK….. Between my suggestions and what you are going to hear later today – you are all set up to to make a roaring success of freefrom in food service, so, what else could you possible need?...........


29 Michelle Berriedale Johnson In their first exciting inaugural year…

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