By Allergen Bureau

Food allergy safety in hospitals boosted by free staff training program

The National Allergy Strategy has developed and launched a new ‘All about Allergens’  free online training program for hospital food service providers, ward staff and volunteers. The new training program was launched by the Hon Greg Hunt, Minister for Health, in September 2020.

To help ensure all staff receive appropriate training, four different versions of the hospital-specific program have been developed. These options are designed to be selected depending on the roles and responsibilities of staff undertaking the training, choosing from: Kitchen Managers and Supervisors, Kitchen Staff, Ward Managers and Nurses; and Ward Support Staff.

Each program is presented using videos and interactive activities that will take workers between approximately one and two hours to complete. It is recommended that the training be repeated at least every two years.

‘All about Allergens’ training was initially launched as a free online course for anyone working in food service. The course was updated and expanded to provide more specific training, with a new training program added in 2018 for camp cooks and chefs.

The newest program for hospitals comes after a suite of resources were released in March 2020 by The National Allergy Strategy to help healthcare facilities to safely manage patients with food allergy.