KITCHEN POINTS AND REMINDERS:
Customers who have food allergies depend on staff to provide complete and accurate information about the ingredients used.
Ingredients found in unexpected places can place customers at risk for an allergic reaction.
Avoiding cross-contact between a safe food and an allergen-containing food is essential to preparing safe products for customers with food allergies.
Checking Ingredients: The only way for a customer with food allergies to avoid an allergic reaction is to avoid the allergy-causing foods. Always double check ingredients because manufacturers may change ingredients without notice.
What is cross-contamination?
Cross-contact occurs when one food comes into contact with another food and their proteins mix. As a result, each food then contains small amounts of the other food, often invisible to the eye. Such contact may be either direct (e.g., placing cheese on a hamburger) or indirect via hands or utensils.
The protein is the component of the food that causes the food allergy. A tiny amount of an allergenic food is enough to cause an allergic reaction in some people. Therefore, precautions must be taken to avoid cross-contact with foods a customer is allergic to.
Foods made from a variety of ingredients may contain allergens. For example, mayonnaise and meringue contain eggs, yogurt and many brands of products that carry “nondairy” labels contain milk, and marzipan is a paste made with almonds.
Common foods are often described in scientific or technical terms. For example, “albumin” is derived from egg, and “whey” is derived from milk. Individuals with egg and milk allergies must avoid these ingredients.
The following are the most common culprits in cross-contact:
Unclean hands or gloves. Touching anything containing nuts, setting it down, and then picking up a nut-free food may result in cross-contact. Before reporting to work, wash hands thoroughly prior to entering The Kind Cake kitchen. Soap and warm water are effective in cleaning hands of allergens, while hand sanitizers are not.
Shared equipment, utensils, grills, fryers, cooking areas, and counters.
Avoiding Cross-Contamination in the Kitchen
All of our baking takes place in a church kitchen that is rarely used by anyone other than The Kind Cake. Occasionally, there will be someone who needs to use it, and that person will be put on the kitchen calendar. It is always the owner’s (and/or person in charge) responsibility to find out what ingredients will be used in the kitchen if it is used by someone other than The Kind Cake staff. Upon the completion of third party kitchen use, The Kind Cake will do a full cleaning of the kitchen followed by food allergen swab testing with AllerSnaps, a Hygiena product: http://www.hygiena.com/other-allergen-tests-home.html
Every day, we follow protocol before baking, regardless of whether or not someone else has used the kitchen.
Upon arrival, all staff is required to thoroughly wash their hands before the kitchen sanitization begins. A full and thorough cleaning must be completed before any of The Kind Cake utensils or ingredients are pulled from their secured locations. Once the cleaning is completed, ingredients and utensils may be pulled.
The Kind Cake uses its own pots, pans, spatulas, whisks, scoops, bowls, etc. and keeps those items locked in a separate storage unit.
The only shared equipment: countertops, oven, (cleaned and tested after third party use) freezer, refrigerator (all ingredients are stored in large bins and secured).