Skip to main content

Best Practice Resources funded by the
Australian Government Department of Health


Food allergy aware checklist

AAA Food allergy aware checklistYou can download this checklist and place it on your workplace notice board or laminate for your kitchen.

1 LISTEN to your customers and be 100% truthful 

  • Ask customers if they have any food allergies.
  • Listen carefully and take customer requests about food allergens seriously.
  • Give customers the right information about the ingredients of meals when they ask.
  • Have specific processes for staff to follow if a customer says they have a food allergy.
  • Place the name of known allergens next to menu items, if possible.
  • Include a note on your menu asking customers to ALWAYS tell you about their food allergy when they order.

2 KNOW what is in your food

  • Only accept foods with a label or foods supplied with ingredient information (Product Information Form).
  • Check all ingredients for allergens, even in sauces, spices, garnish, oils, and dressings.
  • Food labels and Product Information Forms should be checked every time an order is received as manufacturers may change their ingredients or processes.
  • Always use standardised recipes so that the allergen content of menu items is always the same.
  • Avoid ingredient substitution or adding extra ingredients when preparing food.
  • If you accept a different product or brand from your supplier, check the food label or the Product Information Form to check if the allergen content is different.
  • Be familiar with different ingredient names for common food allergens.
  • Set up a food allergen matrix for each menu item – this will help staff quickly identify the common food allergens when customers ask for allergen information.

3 PREPARE food safely

  • Avoid cross contamination of food allergens – even very small amounts of the food a person is allergic to can cause an allergic reaction.
  • Always double check the ingredients with the chef and the customer.
  • Handle food safely with clean hands washed with soap and warm water and dried with paper towel (not a tea towel).
  • Wash hands regularly and always before preparing food for a customer with food allergy.
  • Clean and sanitise work surfaces, utensils and equipment.
  • Store food safely in sealed and labelled containers and keep storage areas clean.
  • Have a separate area for preparing meals for customers with food allergy - be aware that food that is safe for one customer with a food allergy may be unsafe for another customer with a different food allergy.
  • If you can, prepare meals for customers with food allergy first.
  • Have a clear way of identifying the meal for the customer with food allergy, such as a coloured flag for plated meals or stickers for wrapped foods.
  • Always take the meal to the customer with a food allergy separately, not whilst carrying other meals.
  • Check the correct meal is given to the customer who has the food allergy.

4 EDUCATE your staff

  • Make sure food safety supervisors are up to date with their food allergen management training.
  • Train all staff regularly in food allergen management using the All about Allergens free online training -
  • Teach staff of their obligation to declare certain allergens.
  • Ensure your staff are updated on new laws relating to allergen management.
  • Display The Usual Suspects poster in your kitchen –
  • Conduct a food allergen management audit to see what your service can improve on when it comes to managing food allergens -

pdfFood allergy aware checklist64.60 KB