DINING OUT WITH A FOOD ALLERGY
Jersey restaurants are not subject to the same food allergy regulations applicable in the UK. But that doesn’t mean islanders and visitors with intolerances, special diets or life-threatening allergies can’t eat out with confidence in Jersey, Channel Islands.
Oyster Box, along with all JPRestaurants food outlets, have carefully thought out procedures and staff training to ensure that diners with food allergies and intolerances can eat at our restaurants without worrying that the food they eat will make them unwell, or worse still lead to an unscheduled trip to hospital.
These food allergy and intolerance measures at Oyster Box are an extension of our overall sourcing, food handling and preparation procedures which we have in place to ensure we serve healthy and tasty food for all customers and minimise the risk of foodborne illness.
Our food safety culture starts with menu planning and recipe development several months before we launch our seasonal menus.
We may decide to exclude certain allergens from dishes so they appeal to a greater number of people. So we currently don’t use peanuts in any of our kitchens and we use gluten-free flour in our batters. We also use rennet-free Italian hard cheese instead of Parmesan in dishes suitable for vegetarians. In all these cases we substitute alternatives where we are confident that it doesn’t impact the taste.
We publish a list of all dishes available in our restaurants and provide a simple way of identifying which dishes contain any of the fourteen main allergens. The allergen menu is available on the menu page of our website and to all diners upon request at our restaurants. Our standard menus also give indications of popular dietary choices such as No Gluten Containing Ingredients (NGCI), Vegetarian (V), Vegan (VV) and Dairy Free (DF) to avoid any confusion.
Out whole team is trained in food allergies and this training focuses on the importance of following process and the potential danger of serving incorrectly described food to customers with allergies and intolerances.
We also carry out sport checks on our suppliers, such as unannounced visits and temperature probing seafood on delivery, to ensure we have confidence in what they deliver to our restaurants. We ask customers to help us too which is one the reasons we decline customers requests to cook special dishes that are not on our menu or to bring food such as cakes to our restaurants.
Customers can ask for some alterations to a dish (for example, removing a sauce), however, whilst modifications may seem easy to accommodate, we hope customers understand we sometimes have to say no to a request, as it may impact on the efficiency of service to others or be impossible due elements of the dish being pre-prepared. We strongly recommend that customers with severe food allergies do not request such alterations and modifications and instead choose a complete dish off our allergy menu. This advice is part of our strict policy and whilst there is always the possibility of cross-contamination, means that the risk of potential communication errors leading to contamination is further reduced.
We can’t protect against every eventuality of minor cross contamination for all 14 allergens unless we exclude them all from our kitchens but we hope we strike the right balance. It’s important that customers with food allergies and intolerances check with their server and look at the allergen menu each time they visit Oyster Box as ingredients can change.
We welcome feedback from customers on any aspects of our food handling, allergy and food intolerance policies.