How Accurate Product Information Keeps People Safe
Every three minutes, a food allergy sends someone to the emergency room in the US. Most of the time, it’s due to accidental exposure to a known allergen. Things as simple as bread that contains sesame, or a dessert that included a last-minute ingredient change to peanut butter, have been fatal.
For people with food allergies, these serious reactions are most often due to either inaccurate or inadequate information about the ingredients in the dish that person ate, according to foodservice operator SAGE Dining.
We all understand the importance of accurate information from a business perspective, but it’s also important to understand the serious – sometimes life-or-death – consequences of poor-quality content. It’s a central focus of the service SAGE Dining provides, and while SAGE is not the only service provider focused on accurate product information, they serve as an important reminder for all.
“ood allergies are actually an epidemic – one in ten adults and one in 13 kids has at least one food allergy.”
— said SAGE Dining Director of Nutrition Leslie Vogel (also a Registered Dietitian).
“That means in every classroom, there are one or event two students that are navigating one or more food allergies. And that’s true in every school across the nation.”
Currently there are a reported 32 million Americans with food allergies, and of that group, more than half of adults and 42% of children have experienced a severe reaction because of their food allergies. It’s also a growing problem for foodservice businesses – claims of allergic food reactions increased more than 300% between 2007 and 2016. It’s clear that any supplier of food must require a high standard of production and monitoring, as well as accuracy in identifying what’s in the food they manufacture.
SAGE Dining provides more than 40 million lunches every year to more than 240,000 students and faculty across the facilities they serve. And that includes the more than 17,000 students with food allergies.
“We believe they (the 17,000 diners with food allergies) deserve to come into the dining hall and have a safe meal with their friends,” said Vogel.
In the latest episode of our Podcast, Jason talks with Leslie Vogel and Lisa Chertok, Director of Supply Chain for SAGE Dining. Listen to Leslie and Lisa discuss the daily issues that SAGE must manage in order to keep their customers safe across the more than 300 private schools and colleges they serve – and how suppliers can help them and other providers like them deliver high quality food with complete and accurate information.
The only way to avoid a dangerous reaction is to avoid the foods, and the way they do that is to either check food labels, ingredient lists, or ask about the product information on the foods they consume.
This is where suppliers can help, according to Vogel.
“We’re the ones who have to communicate accurately to our guests… Our system relies on our ability to give accurate information, which relies on the information from all of our manufacturers to be accurate as well.”