ST. LOUIS - Safe Food Specialist Linda Petterson and Chef Michael Lapage appeared on the most recent “Food For Thought” segment on Our Daily Show! on at Ford Hotel Supply to discuss common allergens and ways to keep your family and/or customers safe.

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Chef Lapage said there are eight major common allergens: wheat, soy, fish, shellfish/crustaceans, milk, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts, as well as a ninth allergen, sesame, which was recently added this year.

Petterson said allergies are more common than you might think based on the responses she’s gotten in her food safety classes.

“I have people raise their hands, ‘Who has allergens?’ and you’re amazed how many do raise their hands,” Petterson said. “And of course there’s so many more than the big eight or the nine we’re talking about, there’s many more people, and the ones that have them will tell you.”

Lapage added that allergies can start or stop at any time in a person’s life.

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“With allergens, the crazy part of it is they can appear out of nowhere and they can also disappear out of nowhere,” Lapage said. “You can have a peanut allergy as a kid but eventually grow out of that, or not have a peanut allergy as a kid and then get one later on in life.”

He then highlighted a few products to help with safe food storage options for people with allergies. The products, ranging from containers to cutlery and more, feature a bright purple color scheme to stand out from other kitchen equipment. He also noted there’s generally no price difference between allergen products and traditional products.

“Purple is denoted as the ‘allergen color.’ Most major food service manufacturers make purple products, whether it’s containers, measuring cups, trays, cutting boards, and handheld utensils as well,” Lapage said. “So if you’re really interested in this, look for purple, that’s the color. It’s a pretty bright color to see in the kitchen - usually you have your reds, your blues, your greens that kind of can blend in with your containers, but purple will stand out for sure.”

He added that several of the products, including purple knives and pizza cutters, are great for restaurants who make gluten-free food and could use separate utensils to avoid cross-contamination.

To find out more about these products, email or follow CMA Food Service on Instagram. To find out more about Petterson’s food safety classes and e-newsletter, visit

To learn more about allergens and more allergy-conscious products, watch the full segment at the top of this story or on Future “Food For Thought” segments will air on the first Friday of every month.

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