Over the past few centuries of delivering presents and feasting on milk and cookies Santa Claus has put on a few pounds. Well, last year, Mrs. Claus put Santa on a strict diet, so most of the cookies left for jolly old Saint Nick were collected and left in the break room at Santa’s North Pole workshop. As it turns out, elves are just as susceptible to allergens as humans and there was a major outbreak of reactions among Santa’s merry helpers.
Keeping Santa’s Elves Safe from Allergy Attacks
While the North Pole is a little out of our jurisdiction, we do provide allergen information in many of our ServSafe MN training sessions. The most common food allergens that occur in baked products are:
- Tree nuts
- Eggs and dairy
Peanuts rank in their own category of high-risk allergens due to the severity of reactions among elves and human beings. Accidentally consuming peanut products can potentially be life threatening for allergy sufferers. Whether you’re baking for a party of 25 guests or a group of several million toy-making elves, we strongly urge you to forego cooking with peanuts when preparing treats for large gatherings. While reactions to tree nuts are not as common as peanuts, there is still a large portion of the public that suffers from reactions shortly after consuming products containing tree nuts. We recommend that you avoid these as well when serving large groups.
While there are not quite as high a percentage of elves that are allergic to eggs and dairy as humans, there are still rare occurrences of reactions among Santa’s helpers. We understand that you cannot simply avoid baking with eggs or dairy for every occasion, but it is important that you make your guests aware that your products may contain eggs or dairy products.
Whether you run a restaurant, hospitality service or bakery, it is vital that your consumers are made aware that your products may contain these three allergens. A warning label on wrapped baked goods or a note on your menu should be sufficient if your customers have numerous options to choose from. If you run a catering company hosting an event in which baked goods containing these allergens will be displayed, this warning can be tricky. If you include a placard or small sign indicating which items on your display tables contain peanuts, tree nuts, eggs or dairy, your guests will know which foods to avoid.
At Safe Food Training MN, we’d like to wish all of the food workers out there Happy Holidays