When it comes to preparing food for a large crowd, it is important to consider people’s taste, as well as their health. This means creating menus that include both tolerant and allergy-free foods. People of all ages can suffer from food allergies and intolerances; and the severity of their condition can range on a wide scale, from very minor and uncomfortable, to very serious or fatal.
For the sake of safety, liability, and consideration, it is always important to prepare menu spread with everyone’s needs in mind. The first place to start is learning the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance. This knowledge will help you better understand your potential menu options. Continue reading to do just that!
Explanation of Food Allergies
A food allergy is perceived as a toxin in a person’s body. It triggers an exaggerated immune system response that affects multiple organ systems in an attempt to alert the body of the toxin. This can trigger additional physiological responses that overact and cause serious or fatal symptoms. Food allergies are serious because some can lead to severe injuries or death. Even microscopic particles of food can cause an allergic reaction, even a fatal one.
The most common food allergies include peanuts, shellfish, cow’s milk, soy products, wheat, hen’s eggs, and tree nuts like almonds, Brazilian nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. These are called the “big 8” in the culinary world, and are the most familiar food allergies known to the general public.
Food Allergy Symptoms:
➣ Red Skin
➣ Swelling (face, eyes, cheeks, hands, feet, etc.)
➣ Anaphylaxis (difficulty breathing, dizziness, loss of consciousness, etc.)
➣ Respiratory Symptoms
Explanation of a Food Intolerance
In contrast to food allergies that affect the immune system, food intolerances affect the body’s digestive system. When a person consumes food they are intolerant to, the digestive system has trouble breaking it down. This can be caused by a number of reasons, primarily a lack of essential enzymes, sensitivity to food additives, and reactions to naturally-occurring chemical in food (i.e. mycotoxins). Food intolerances are not life-threatening, but they can cause major discomfort and illness. In minor cases of food intolerance, people can consume small amounts without experiencing any digestive issues. The most common intolerances include glucose, lactose, Tyramine, food preservatives, and food additives.
Food Intolerance Symptoms:
➣ Fluid Retention
➣ Abdominal Distention
➣ Difficulty Breathing
⚠ When preparing food for a crowd, whether yourself or through catering services, be sure to keep both food allergies and intolerances in mind. There is a wide range of menu options that can do just that, so you won’t have to sacrifice variety and flavor!
Georgia Caterers You Can Trust With Your Dietary Restrictions
Call Food for Thought Catering at 678-340-0510 for Georgia catering services that are guaranteed to exceed your expectations for excellence! We are skilled culinary professionals who specialize in full-service catering, and can customize everything your menu down to the last detail, from food intolerances and dietary restrictions, to menus, service, themes, décor, and more. Call 678-340-0510 to request a free consultation, today!