The majority of event planning is centered around booking the venue, getting it ready, and promoting it to increase the number of attendees. While those are considered as some of the most important aspects of coordinating a successful event there is one factor that is always left unattended: food and food allergies. Even some of the best and most experienced event planners forgetting to consider food allergies until it is too late.
Avoid the hassle of a potential allergic reaction that can turn into a serious lawsuit by following these food catering tips for major events:
Tip 1: Ask Attendees In Advance
Events that are invitation only have the unique advantage of contacting the attendees early on. Make sure that when you send out invitations or RSVPs for the event to include a card that asks about any food allergies and dietary restrictions that you should be aware of during the event. These cards usually only limit answers to vegan, vegetarian, and kosher options, but as the planner you should take it to another level.
Include boxes for any gluten, dairy, eggs, peanuts, soy, and wheat allergies too. As a precaution, add an “others” line so they can fill up their allergies themselves if necessary.
Tip 2: Look For A Trustworthy Catering Company
Interview several potential Northern VA catering companies for the job to see how seriously they take food allergies. Ask how they plan to handle strict dietary restrictions, what alternatives they can offer, and how they can guarantee that the food they serve is allergen-free. A trustworthy Northern VA catering company will not hesitate to share their plans to ensure your event is allergy-free.
Be sure to do some research of your own and check out the reputation and reviews of every caterer on your list to know if they are true to their word or if they are only saying what you want to hear.
Tip 3: Labels Are A Must
Sometimes there are instances where you cannot avoid serving food that a small fraction of attendees is allergic to; this is especially common for buffet-style meals. A way to ensure that no one consumes anything they are allergic to is to put clear labels on food items. Warnings such as: “may contain dairy” or “may have been prepared in a kitchen that handles peanuts” is good enough to keep those with serious allergies away from the food.
Tip 4: Avoid Cross-Contamination
When the catering company is in charge of packing the food or serving the food to the guests, keep a watchful eye for any actions that may result in cross-contamination. Be very strict with food handling as one accidental contact with an allergen can result in a serious allergic reaction that requires medical attention.
Be very vigilant and take all allergy, intolerances, and dietary restrictions of your guests seriously. No one wants to end up getting sued just because of a small peanut landing on the wrong plate. It is your job as the event planner to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the attendees.
Saint Germain Catering’s formula to please our customers consists of great food, excellent menus, and spectacular service. Contact us today for your Northern VA catering needs.