I took a week long course recently that was held in the conference rooms MacEwan University. It was a wonder space in their new Allard Hall building. Bright colours, open space, you can see the students walking around with their creative juices, singing their scales, practicing their instruments and reading their poetry.
But really, this is about the catering there. Not about what they served, but how they served it. I am not going to comment on the food, selection, because they only served snacks for this course. We were on our own for meals.
But what caught my attention is what every caterer should do. Not just for gluten free, but for all allergens, like MacEwan University did.
- Colour code alergens with a legend
- Have the obvious disclaimer about cross contamination
- Place cards in front of each item being served with properly allergy markers.
Simple, easy to follow, and easy to understand.
The other tip to go with this is:
- Keep allergens as separate as possible
- Wrap items with nut or with gluten separately when possible
- Ensure enough serving utensils are available to avoid people using one to pick up several items from different trays
Tip for someone attending an event that is going to be catered:
- Call ahead and speak to the catering manager.
- Allow them proper time to prepare you a meal that is going to meet your needs
- Ask what they will serve, ask about any procedures they have to reduce cross contamination
- At the event, speak with staff or even better speak to the catering manager and confirm your conversation