Bakeries should be more allergy friendly – ​​The Wood Word


Photo Credit/ Sabrina Resuta

Bakeries need to be more helpful for people with food allergies.

Eight of the most common food allergies are cow’s milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, wheat (gluten), soy, and fish. Many bakeries use milk, eggs, gluten, and various nuts in their products. For those with gluten or wheat allergies, bakeries and dessert vendors often offer gluten-free alternatives. However, with allergies to soy, peanuts, and tree nuts, there are no alternative options.

Since nuts are a common allergy, it should be easy to incorporate nut allergy-friendly foods and practices.

Some bakeries order their products from other sources and cannot necessarily guarantee that their items are nut-free. I think it would be worth looking into the coming products because nut-free options or precautions for people with nut allergies would probably attract more customers.

As someone with a nut allergy, I can attest that it’s hard to find a bakery with no nuts or several allergy-friendly options. This is especially true because there is a possibility of cross contamination.

Cross contamination occurs when an allergen comes into contact with a product. Sometimes people may not be careful when preparing food, such as when they accidentally take an appliance that wasn’t fully decontaminated and use it in another dessert.

An oversight like that can have deadly consequences if a customer consumes something with an allergen in it. To prevent this from happening, most places make it clear that they cannot guarantee that items will not come into contact with other allergens.

Fortunately, cross contamination is not entirely inevitable. Some ways to prevent cross-contamination are to use different allergen tools, have separate allergen stations in bakeries, and test all ingredients.

While this may sound like a huge pain and expense may be a concern, I think it will pay off in the long run. The more allergy-aware a place is, the more customers will be drawn to it.

Many people cannot enjoy a dessert from a bakery or other vendor because they have an allergy. Allergy-friendly bakeries exist, but they are not common.

There are some bakeries that are free of the eight most common allergies and some that are nut-free. However, they are few and far between or long distance. Even allergy-friendly bakeries aren’t perfect.

Erin McKenna’s Bakery is a renowned allergy-friendly bakery that has five locations across the United States. According to their website, they are gluten-free, vegan, and kosher.

However, about the location of her bakery in Disney Springs, Erin McKenna’s website says they have a nut warning because they use flour in shared equipment with other nuts despite being peanut-free.

Due to distance issues, some people may never get the chance to go to a nut-free bakery. People who have nut allergies shouldn’t worry about a lack of options.

Should bakeries stop serving allergy-friendly items altogether? No, they shouldn’t. Just because people have allergies doesn’t mean service of those items has to stop altogether. However, certain precautions should be taken, such as avoiding cross-contamination and keeping separate boxes or ingredients handy at the back.

It can be difficult but it is possible to do it. People who have allergies shouldn’t have to suffer and neither should people who enjoy desserts that could contain an allergen.

The most important thing for people with allergies to remember is to be careful. Mistakes happen all the time, and cross contamination is always a possibility. Even researching the bakery before you go there, it’s smart to ask in person or call ahead.

I choose to remain hopeful that we will see the rise of allergy-friendly bakeries in the future.

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