ServSafe Allergen Study Guide

ServSafe Allergen Study Guide

In this article, we will provide you with the most updated information about the ServSafe Allergen study guide. Let’s get started!

January 1, 2022

Any type of food can cause an allergy. However, only a handful of foods cause at least 90% of allergic reactions. The substance that causes an allergic reaction in a food or drink is called an “allergen”. In this article, ServSafe-Prep will provide useful information about the ServSafe Allergen study guide to help you better understand the most common foods that cause allergies.

General Information

ServSafe Allergen is a test of test takers’ general knowledge of allergens in the food service industry and how to prevent and prevent their use in food preparation. After completing a ServSafe Allergens course, candidates are required to take this test before officially being allowed to work as professional staff in every facility/restaurant.

We don’t have any approximate data on the exact number of questions included on this ServSafe Allergen test or the rate of redress answers that are required to pass this test. There are no prerequisites for the course, in any case, so anyone may take it if possible.

What Are Food Allergies?

There are more than 160 types of food that are connected to unfavorably susceptible responses within the USA. Unfavorably susceptible responses result from the nearness of an allergen. Allergens are normally happening proteins found in food that can make a few individuals involve sensitivities. When somebody with an affectability to a certain allergen eats sufficient of it, they can involve an unfavorably susceptible response. Now and then even a diminutive sum can cause a response or death to the customers using these types of allergies.

ServSafe Allergen Study Guide
ServSafe Allergen Study Guide

>>> Read more: ServSafe Alcohol Study Guide

1. Several common symptoms of food allergies

Unfavorably susceptible responses might happen promptly after eating foods, otherwise, you may witness a response within a few hours. Side effects extend from mild to genuine and within the most extreme cases, anaphylaxis may happen and result in death. In the event that you can recognize the indications in a client, don’t forget to call the crisis number in your living location and notify them of an unfavorably susceptible response. Indications of allergens incorporate:

  • Rash, redness, and acute urticaria

This can be considered one of the most popular symptoms of a food allergy. Customers will feel the skin itchy, rash, even itchy rash all over the body like when you have eczema, causing the skin to become red, swollen, edematous, possibly distorted, deformed in a certain part of the body (lips, mouth, eyes), especially in the hands, forearms, and feet. So if, after eating any food, you notice these symptoms arise in your customers (which can vary in duration depending on the patient’s location or allergen), it’s very likely. They may have a food allergy and need to see their doctor as soon as possible.

  • Arrhythmia, low blood pressure

In some cases, a more severe allergic reaction can lead to changes in your blood pressure, a slower or weaker heart rate, feeling light-headed, dizzy, or even trouble breathing. However, usually, people rarely detect heart rate changes, unless they have a home monitor.

  • Cough

Coughing can also be a reaction when you have a food allergy. This often happens with certain fruits or vegetables that contain proteins similar to pollen.

  • Pain in the chest

If your clients have trouble swallowing or feel a tightness in their chest after eating certain foods, they may have eosinophilic esophagitis. What should be done to deal with food allergies? Simply put, allergens in food can trigger an immune response, leading to large numbers of eosinophils (eosin) cells pooling into the esophagus, causing inflammation and causing inflammation. 

  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea

Abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea after eating are also easily suspected as symptoms of food allergy. These symptoms may also be due to lactose intolerance. Therefore, it is important to consider carefully, it is better to see a doctor for an accurate examination.

2. Causes of food allergies

Food allergies are caused by the immune system misidentifying certain foods or substances in foods as harmful. The immune system then produces cells to release antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to neutralize the allergenic food or food agent (allergen).

In later times, when a very small amount of that food is ingested, the IgE antibodies sense and signal the immune system to release histamine, as well as other chemicals, into the bloodstream. Those chemicals will cause some kind of allergy symptoms such as a runny nose and itchy skin.

3. Vulnerable populations of food allergy

  • Food allergies are very common and can affect people of all ages and genders. Factors that increase your risk include:
  • The family history of several types of hazards such as asthma, eczema, hives, or allergies.
  • Have had a previous food allergy and the disease recurs later.
  • Being allergic to a particular food increases the risk of other allergies.
  • Food allergies are common in children, especially toddlers and infants.

4. Dealing with some Food Allergy Emergencies

Your foundation/facility ought to have several effective strategies input for food handlers in case some hypersensitivity crises arise during the working process. When a client notifies you about food hypersensitivity, exceptional care ought to be taken to avoid transferring the allergen to the customer’s arrange within the kitchen and within the feasting room. Remember to keep your clients secure in your working area. In any case, when nourishing things do come in contact with a nourishing allergen and an unfavorably susceptible response does happen, there should be several strategies to remember.

Avoid serving your clients any food or food-related items that you believe they can bring several types of food allergen. Besides, remember to set a portion of food in a different area and name it with “Caution: Avoid to Use” along with the name of the food allergen in contact with the food. This will help your clients be aware of the danger of these types of food.

In case you witness a client of your facility/restaurant experiencing several signs of food-related allergic symptoms, especially one of the given symptoms, immediately call the emergency number in your working area. This can save your clients. Afterward, remember to inform your director or manager about the situation of the clients.

Top 9 Popular Food Allergens

We would also like to share some foods that people with allergies or sensitivities should avoid. In particular, some foods containing histamine, beer, champagne, seafood, milk, and eggs can cause itchy rashes in people with allergies.

These given food allergy symptoms are most popular in infants and children, however, it is possible that they appear at any age. You may even become allergic to a food you’ve eaten over the years. Food rashes and skin allergies are quite common problems that you may face. Some foods that can cause allergies should pay attention:

1. Foods containing histamine

 Avoid foods containing histamine, which is one of the nutrients that can aggravate or worsen an already-existing itchy rash, which is common in people with atopic allergies. These include canned fish, smoked fish, soy sauce, champagne, beer, vinegar, sauces, wine, sausages, and more. All types of fermented foods are considered to be high in histamine.

2. Milk and milk-related foods

Milk allergy is the most common type of allergy in infants and young children, especially those under 6 months of age who are exposed to milk proteins. People with allergies will then show many symptoms such as swelling, rash, hives, vomiting, and even anaphylaxis. The only treatment is to avoid milk and dairy foods such as cheese, butter, margarine, yogurt, ice cream, etc.

3. Eggs and egg-related foods

Eggs are considered the second most common source of food allergies in children. However, 68% of children with an egg allergy will develop an allergy by the time they are 16 years old. The most effective treatment is still to eliminate eggs from the diet. However, people with an egg allergy need not avoid all egg-related foods.

4. Nuts

A tree nut allergy is an allergy to certain types of seeds, which are derived from plants. This is a very common food allergy thought to affect about 1% of the US population. Some typical allergenic tree nuts as nuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, pistachios, pine nuts, walnuts, etc. People who are allergic to this tree nut are also affected. allergic to products made with these nuts, such as butter and oils.

5. Peanut

Such as tree nut allergies, and peanut allergies are very common and can be fatal. Peanut allergy affects about 4-8% of children and 1–2% of adults. However, about 15–22% of children with peanut allergies will clear up on their own by the time they reach adolescence. Currently, the most effective treatment is to completely avoid peanuts and peanut-containing products.

6. Seafood

Seafood allergy is caused by the human body attacking proteins from families of crustaceans or krill, known as shellfish. People with a seafood allergy may have lifelong allergies, even to cooked seafood. So the only way to avoid allergies is to eliminate all seafood allergies from your daily diet.

7. Wheat

A wheat allergy is an allergic reaction to one of the proteins found in wheat. Commonly seen in children, it can cause gastrointestinal distress, hives, vomiting, rash, swelling, and, in severe cases, anaphylaxis and death. The only treatment is to avoid wheat and wheat-containing products, including beauty products.

8. Soybean

Soy allergy affects about 0.4% of all children, especially in infants and children under 3 years of age. Symptoms can range from itchy mouth and runny nose to rashes and asthma or difficulty breathing. So be careful when using soy products to avoid allergies.

9. Fish

Fish allergy accounts for about 2% of adults, allergies are common. The main symptoms of fish allergy are vomiting and diarrhea, but in several cases, anaphylaxis can also happen.

How To Prevent Cross-Contact?

Cross-contact occurs when a hazard (physical, chemical, biological) transfers from one contaminated surface to another uncontaminated surface. These hazards can be transmitted from people, surfaces of workplace equipment, and other foods. For example, it can occur when a biohazard is bacteria from the surface of raw meat, poultry, or raw vegetables with visible dirt (such as unwashed potatoes), contaminating the food. ready-to-eat foods, such as raw salads, rice, pasta salads, cooked meat or poultry, or even fruit. The bacteria on raw foods are destroyed when the food is cooked, but they will remain on foods eaten raw without further cooking.

The implication of the kitchen staff

All types of food should be put away and dealt with in a way that maintains a strategic distance from cross-contact among food. Cross-contact appears in case an allergen comes in contact with the nourishment, dish, utensil, etc. that will be served to unfavorably susceptible customers. Nourishment handlers must be commonplace of the ways in which cooking, dealing with, and their workspace may result in hurting unfavorably susceptible clients through cross-contact.

Cooking process

It is impossible that cross-contact may happen during the process of cooking, especially after you fry various types of food within the same oil. If you broil crab and after that French fries in the same oil, and serve the French fries to a client with a serious shellfish sensitivity, the allergen can be displayed on the fries, putting your unfavorably susceptible client at threat. Nourishment handlers ought to completely check formulas and fixings records before the process of cooking to guarantee the safety of food.

Handling food

One of the most common causes of food contamination is unsanitary food handling and preparation. It can happen in cases where the kitchen staff skips the step of washing their hands and handling food after going to the bathroom, disposing of trash, or handling raw meat. Also, don’t wear gloves when handling food or handling food even if you have a virus such as hepatitis A, a skin infection, or an open wound on your skin… can also cause problems. should be cross-contaminated. Since viruses can be easily transmitted through fruits, vegetables, and meat, it is important to wash your hands properly before and after handling food.

The role of effective cleaning methods

Appropriate cleaning is indispensable in anticipating cross-contact. Much of what you do to anticipate cross-contamination will moreover offer assistance to maintain a strategic distance from cross-contact among types of food. This implies each thing utilized in the arrangement, the process of cooking, and serving clients ought to be washed and sanitized carefully. These things are integrated such as devices, equipment, and integrated work surfaces (table as an example).

Cooking-related utensils

The cookware equipment, apparatuses, blades, utensils, cutting sheets, hardware, etc. need to be washed and sanitized before the process of planning to avoid a food allergen extraordinarily arrange. Several types of foundations take it a step in advance and utilize partitioned things and devices for allergen uncommon orders so there will be no chance for cross-contact to arise during this process. Once the dish is ready to utilize secure utensils and cooking types of equipment, ensure that the wrapped-up dish can not come into contact with any type of allergen.

Personal hygiene

Personal Hygiene is an important step before the cooking process. The kitchen staff or even related individuals should be aware of the importance of this process. Personal Hygiene consists of 6 following steps:

Step 1: Wet hands, take 3-5ml of hand sanitizer, or rub soap on the palms and backs of hands. Rub your palms together to spread the soap evenly.

Step 2: Place the palm and fingers of one hand on the back of the other hand and scrub the back of the hand and between the fingers (each side).

Step 3: Place your palms together, scrub your palms, and between your fingers.

Step 4: Hook your hands together and scrub the gaps between your fingers and fingers.

Step 5: Use the palm of one hand to rotate and rub the fingers of the other hand and vice versa.

Step 6: Pinch the tips of the fingers of one hand and rub the tips of the fingers into the palm of the other hand and vice versa. Rinse your hands under running water, then pat them dry with a clean towel. The minimum hand hygiene time for the whole procedure is 30 seconds.

How To Prevent Food Allergic Reactions?

ServSafe Allergen Study Guide
ServSafe Allergen Study Guide


Use cooked food

Food allergies often stem from oral allergy syndrome caused by eating undercooked food. When you have this condition, you will be allergic to ingredients in foods such as proteins. Sarah Koszyk, M.D., registered dietitian and author of “25 Anti-Aging Smoothies for Revitalizing,” says that cooking vegetables or using fruits alters the structure of proteins, which in turn boosts the immune system. 

Take probiotics

Probiotics help improve gut health and support the immune system. Therefore, consuming fermented foods such as kimchi, pickles, and yogurt with this substance will increase the body’s resistance, thereby limiting allergies. Lactobacillus bacteria in yogurt have the ability to limit respiratory allergy symptoms such as sneezing, and coughing and avoid intestinal mucosal membranes that affect digestion.

Consume anti-inflammatory foods

Long-term exposure to irritating foods can cause chronic allergic inflammation. Consuming anti-inflammatory foods will reduce the symptoms of inflammation. Foods people should consider adding to their diet include ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, green leafy vegetables, bitter melon, olive oil, sweet potatoes, onions, and pomegranate juice. In addition, some other foods such as garlic also have the ability to effectively support the immune system.

Apply tea tree oil

You can also use diluted tea tree oil (as directed by your doctor) as a topical reliever for itching and rashes caused by allergies. This oil possesses properties that soothe skin irritations. Some experts use tea tree oil to dilate blood vessels in patients with histamine-induced inflammation, says James Baker, medical expert and executive director of Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE). Tea tree oil can improve inflammation caused by histamine, thereby preventing allergy symptoms.

Use activated charcoal

Activated charcoal possesses many allergy-preventing properties. One study showed that this type of charcoal has the ability to complex with the proteins that are the main cause of allergies in peanuts. Activated charcoal will destroy the binding of this protein to E and G immune antibodies and indirectly prevent allergy symptoms.

Use a nasal wash

Nasal rinses are growing in popularity for the treatment of respiratory infections, asthma, and seasonal allergies. Experts recommend that people with allergic rhinitis use a daily nasal hypertonic saline solution. . Nasal rinses are also very helpful in preventing respiratory food allergy symptoms such as sneezing.

Avoid allergenic foods

This is very important when you have a food allergy. You need to adopt a suitable diet that does not contain irritating foods. A dietitian may advise people to take vitamin supplements or choose nutrient-dense alternatives to irritating foods.

One study also showed that allergy symptoms were significantly reduced in patients with eosinophilic esophagitis when they dieted. 72% of the trial participants avoided symptoms such as heartburn, vomiting, and loss of appetite thanks to this diet.

What Should Foodservice Facilities Do?

In fact, only a small number of people have food allergies, so many restaurants (even high-end restaurants) sometimes don’t care about training or “forget” to remind their staff daily how to do it. handle situations when customers have food allergies at their restaurants. Here are effective methods for this case:

Training Employees

While the waitstaff cannot stand beside every customer and list all the ingredients for each dish, don’t forget to remind customers to read the ingredients carefully while viewing the menu. After the diners have chosen the dish, the duty of the wait staff is to advise the customer about which of the selected dishes are foods that are likely to cause allergies.

Bring the right food to the guests

It is essential to always double-check the accuracy of the dishes chosen by the guests and the products prepared by the chef. Waiters are not allowed to be subjective but always have to check one last time before bringing food to the table to serve guests. In case it has not been brought out yet, those dishes should be placed in a separate area to avoid confusion with other dishes. At the same time, it is necessary to inform other employees and absolutely not let anyone add any ingredients, spices, or substances to it.

Train staff in first aid steps

This incident can happen at any time without warning. Smart restaurant management is absolutely not letting the restaurant fall into a passive position. Ideally, as a manager, you should be the first person to remember this “food allergy” thing. From there, organize periodic professional training sessions for staff on first aid skills in the event that guests have food allergies.

Customer support

A common trend when difficulties arise is that restaurants will avoid and deny responsibility. If you want the brand to exist sustainably, have good restaurant management, and, importantly, dare to stand up to the immediate difficulties.


The interactive ServSafe Allergens Online Course provides your staff and supervisors with the crucial information they need to serve visitors with food allergies and respond to emergencies.
Common Food Allergens: 
  • Milk
  • Soy
  • Eggs
  • Wheat
  • Fish 
  • Crustacean shellfish
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts 


The above article has provided readers with basic information about the ServSafe Allergen study guide as well as steps in avoiding food allergens in the food service industry. Hope that this article can help you with a more effective beneficial preparation process for the upcoming test.

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