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Allergy Free Foods for Catering Events

6 Allergies to Cater For at Your Next Event

Allergies are becoming increasingly prevalent in Australia, now occurring in one in every 50 adults, and one in 20 children. With so many affected by different allergens and intolerances, how can you plan a menu that expertly maximises flavour and excitement, while still catering for sensitivity?

Here are some common foods to watch out for while keeping things tasty for you and your guests.

Fish

Fish is the source of the most common allergy for Australian adults, affecting more than 100,000 people each year. While most people are allergic to only one type of fish – like tuna but not white fish – the allergy can be life threatening for some people. So it’s worth checking with guests to see if they have a fish allergy. But that doesn’t mean you have to eliminate fish from the menu altogether. Just ensure there are meat options for mains and vegetarian options for entrée. That way, you’ll keep things safe and enjoyable for all guests.

Nuts and sesame

Australia has a relatively high prevalence of peanut allergy, with almost three in every 100 children suffering from peanut allergy. Less than half of these children will outgrow the allergy, and many adults will also develop the issue later in life.

While peanut allergy sufferers won’t also suffer from tree nut sensitivity, those who have a tree nut intolerance will usually react to multiple varieties of tree nuts. This family includes almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, hickory nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts and others.

Sesame seeds are also an extremely potent allergen used extensively in the food industry. While nuts and sesame may seem like obvious food to avoid for catering purposes, remember to consider items containing these ingredients, like satay sauce, pastries, hummus and tahini and sesame oil in dressings and sauces.

Dairy

More than four per cent of Australians are estimated to suffer from lactose intolerance, with an unconfirmed further number affected by milk protein allergy. With kosher catering, it’s an easy allergen to avoid if you just keep the menu fleishig. But even if you do want a milchig meal, remember that dairy-free options like almond, coconut, oat and rice milks are easily available and serve as great milk alternatives for people with allergies.

Wheat and gluten

Wheat allergy is an immune system response to the proteins in wheat. Many Australians suffer from gluten intolerance, meaning they struggle to digest wheat, as well as other grains including barley, spelt, farro, rye and semolina.

There is confusion regarding wheat allergy, coeliac disease and wheat intolerance. Those with Coeliac Disease have an autoimmune response to gluten, which causes bowel inflammation and physical damage. From a catering perspective, it’s relatively simple these days to make effective substitutes to ensure those with intolerances or even allergies can still enjoy their meal. Gluten free breads, for example, are largely made from one or a combination of flours derived from buckwheat, quinoa, tapioca, potato and corn. These vegetables and grains also make a great alternative in meals. Ensure sauces such as soy are gluten free as well.

Egg

While egg allergy is one of the most common food allergies in childhood, more than 80 per cent of children will outgrow their egg allergy. So it’s a relatively uncommon issue for adults. But if you or your guests have an egg allergy, be sure to avoid mayonnaise, chocolate mousse, cookie dough and tiramisu.

Fructose malabsorption and FODMAP friendly foods

According to the Food Intolerance Institute of Australia, fructose malapsoroption affects one in three Australians. Fructose is one part of FODMAP, an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides And Polyols, an intolerance effecting an estimated 35 per cent of Australians. If you’re aiming to adopt a low FODMAP menu, or you’re catering for people on a low FODMAP diet, avoid high-fructose foods such as apple, pear, garlic, onion and honey, large amounts of wheat or rye, chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans. Opt instead for berries, oranges, bananas, bok choy, carrots, celery, proteins and gluten-free grains.

For expert ways of accommodating various allergies at your next function, please get in touch with our experienced team at Roquette Catering.

Before You Go

If you’ve got a large event coming up, feel free to contact us to see how we can help!

Roquette Catering offers delicious and exciting food creations, exceptional service and uncompromising attention to detail.

Drawing on over 12 years of local and International experience, Joshua Luftig and the Roquette Catering team will help you find the perfect venue for your event, be it a wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, social gathering or corporate event.

Give us a call at 03 9939 3323, or head to our contact page to send us a message.

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