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Allergies & The Big 8 - Allergy Catering

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

As a prominent catering establishment, Knife & Faulk stays well versed and knowledgeable to the many aspects of the food and catering industry, especially food safety and the understanding of the “Big 8.”


Shrimp Ceviche

What exactly is the “Big 8?” - you may ask. Well, it has absolutely nothing to do with college sports. Though it could be named the “Big 14,” experts across the globe have narrowed it down to 8, pinpointing the 8 most dominant allergens. When serving you, Knife & Faulk takes into consideration any food allergens and sensitivities. We agree – your event should be unforgettable for only the best of reasons, which means delicious food regardless of food restrictions.


“The Big 8”:


1. Wheat


Whether a gluten intolerance, wheat allergy, or celiac disease, Knife & Faulk will work with you to have incredible food. Some indications of an allergy to wheat overlap with those produced by a sensitivity to gluten or by celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder, so it’s crucial to get an accurate diagnosis. The grain is found in a myriad of foods, so when going through your menu interests it is important to specify if any guests have an intolerance, allergy, or celiac disease so that we may ensure a safe food environment.


2. Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, shrimp, etc.)


Within the shellfish family, the crustacean group (shrimp, lobster and crab) causes the greatest number of allergic reactions. Fortunately, shellfish is an ingredient that is rarely hidden in foods. Shellfish may be found in fish stock, seafood flavoring (for example, crab extract), sushi and surimi. Knife & Faulk can use alternate ingredients to achieve the same level of flavor without compromising your event experience.


3. Eggs


According to ACAAI, an egg allergy develops when the body’s immune system becomes sensitized and overreacts to proteins in egg whites and/or yolks. When eggs are eaten, the body sees the protein as a foreign invader and sends out chemicals to defend against it. Unfortunately, eggs are a hidden ingredient in many foods, including canned soups, salad dressings, ice cream and many meat-based dishes, such as meatballs and meatloaf. Even some commercial egg substitutes contain egg protein.


4. Fish


Having an allergy to a finned fish (such as tuna, halibut or salmon) does not mean that you are also allergic to shellfish (shrimp, crab and lobster). Many prepared foods contain fish in some form. Fish is a common ingredient in Worcestershire sauce and Caesar salad and is sometimes found in imitation crab products in the form of surimi, a processed food made mainly from Alaska pollock. Knife & Faulk’s head Chef Marlene is well versed in this allergy and can ensure your event’s menu is carefully curated.


5. Peanuts


Peanuts are one of the food allergens most commonly associated with anaphylaxis, a sudden and potentially deadly condition that requires immediate attention and treatment. Peanuts and peanut products may be found in baked goods and peanut butter may be an ingredient in a sauce or marinade. Accidental exposure from foods contaminated by peanuts in the manufacturing process or during food preparation is a possibility. Knife & Faulk will ensure the kitchen avoids cross contamination if we are made aware of severe peanut allergies.


6. Milk


Milk is one of the most common food allergens. People with an allergy to cow’s milk may also be allergic to milk from other animals, including goats. According to ACCAI, there are two main types of milk protein - casein and whey. Casein, the “solid” part of milk, comprises about 80 percent of milk protein. Whey proteins, found in the liquid part of milk, make up the other 20 percent. Milk is a fairly easy ingredient to substitute in recipes. Most recipes calling for milk can be just as successful by substituting the equivalent in water, juice, or soy or rice milk. Our chefs are happy to make these substitutions so you and your guests can enjoy a delicious menu.


7. Tree nuts (e.g., almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.)


There is often confusion between peanuts and tree nuts. Peanuts are legumes, not nuts; still, between 25% and 40% of individuals who are allergic to peanuts also react to at least one tree nut, according to studies. Tree nuts are often used as garnishes in salads, as an ingredient in Asian dishes, sauces, and desserts. Any allergy to tree nuts is easily avoidable with Knife & Faulk. In our consultation, let us know any allergies to avoid and we will take it seriously.


8. Soybeans.


Soy or soy products are found in some broths, processed meats, energy bars, baked goods, and many other processed foods. Soy also is a common ingredient in Asian cuisine and is sometimes contained in low-fat peanut butter, alternative nut butters, and even vodka. Any soy derivatives will be taken into consideration when forming your event’s menu.




Knife & Faulk remains committed to an above standard approach of presenting and accommodating you with outstanding cuisine and masterful service. We take the success of your event personally. Please be assured, throughout your event planning process with us, Knife & Faulk will attentively listen to your menu concerns and execute them beyond expectations. Allergens and sensitivities will not stop us from creating an irresistible menu for your next event.



(Source: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture & Food Safety and ACAAI)


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