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The unrelenting demands of allergic customers on an already stressed kitchen staff have increased exponentially in recent years. Just a few years ago, it seemed like there were only a few allergies prevailing, there was always nuts and shellfish, but it seems like more and more people are now discovering they can’t eat gluten, dairy, seeds, fruit, meat... the list keeps growing.
This causes more and more logistical problems in kitchens and chefs have to think of ever new and inventive way to satisfy the changing demands of new allergic customers.
While there is a global increase in people who suffer reactions to certain food, new research from the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and Northwestern University in Evanston, both in Illinois, claims that one in five adults in the United States believe they have an allergy while only 1 in 10 actually do.
That means that one in every two altered food orders in a restaurant are based on a mistaken belief in an allergy. The research team harvested data from over 40,000 people based in the US. An estimated 26 million, or over 10% of U.S. adults do have a food allergy, but the team found that around 19% of U.S. adults believed they did - a discrepency of nearly half.
Food allergy is a serious issue and some suggest that people with false allergies are making harder for those with genuine allergies to eat out.
If allergies are increasing, does that mean the amount of people with mistaken belief of their allergies will also increase? What does that mean for the kitchen? What does it mean for a menu if every single customer has different demands when it comes to the ingredients they can or can’t eat?