Consumer Advisory

Consumer Advisory https://wahospitality.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/shutterstock_223634410.jpg

A consumer advisory is a publicly-posted notice that certain ready-to-eat foods pose a health risk because they are not processed to destroy pathogens. Consumer Advisory consists of two parts:

Disclosure and Reminder.

Disclosure—identification of the animal foods served under-cooked must:

  • Be written.
  • Be on the menu (or otherwise presented to customers in writing at the time they place their order).
  • Identify the food items that are served raw or under-cooked.

Reminder—statement of the health risk of consuming these foods must:

  • Be written.
  • Be printed on the menu where customers can easily find it or otherwise presented to customers.

Why is Consumer Advisory Required?

The intent of Consumer Advisory is to notify consumers of the increased risk so they are better able to make informed ordering decisions.

Who Needs to Post a Consumer Advisory?

All food establishments that serve raw or undercooked animal foods or unpasteurized, packaged juices are required to post a Consumer Advisory.

Animal Foods Traditionally Served Raw or Under-cooked Include:

  • Hamburgers and steaks, cooked to order
  • Oysters and other shellfish
  • Fish (sushi, sashimi and ceviche)
  • Eggs served under-cooked (fried, poached, sunny-side up, “runny”)
  • Eggs under-cooked as ingredients (sauces, eggnog, tiramisu, mousse, meringue pie, Caesar salad dressing, fresh mayonnaise) ƒ
  • Carpaccio, steak tartare

Are There Any Options to Putting the Reminder on the Menu?

An option to printing the reminder statement on the menu is to publicly provide a Consumer Advisory brochure that meets the guidelines set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The brochure must be readily accessible to consumers—they can get it without having to ask for it—prior to placing their food orders.

What if I Only Have One Item on My Menu That Needs a Consumer Advisory (i.e. Raw Oysters)?

Consumer Advisories may be tailored to be product-specific if a food establishment serves only certain animal foods raw or under-cooked. For example, a raw bar serving oysters on the half-shell, but no other raw or under-cooked animal food, could change the reminder to: “Consuming raw oysters may increase your risk of foodborne illness.”

The following is an example of potential solutions for you to meet the consumer advisory requirement. If you had a five item menu that contained the following items: grilled Cajun chicken (no raw product) / New York steak (Cook to order – potentially raw product) / caesar salad (with dressing that contains raw egg) / Sushi (raw product) / wood-planked salmon (no raw product).

 

Option #1

Disclose the raw or potentially raw items in the menu item description and place the reminder alone at the bottom on the menu. For example:
Grilled Cajun Chicken – Enough kick to bring a tear to your eye and sweat to your brow……….$15.99

New York Steak – Genuine USDA Choice Cut perfectly grilled to order………..$15.99
Caesar Salad – Our version of the classic made with our homemade old-fashioned dressing that contains fresh garlic, raw eggs and just the right amount of seasoning………..$15.99

Sushi – The finest raw tuna hand rolled by our very own Asian cuisine experts ………..$15.99
Wood-planked salmon – 11 oz. fresh salmon lightly seasoned and grilled………..$15.99

“Consuming raw or under-cooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of food borne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions.”
Option #2

Asterisk the raw or potentially raw items on the menu and combine the disclosure and the reminder at the bottom on the menu. For example:

Grilled Cajun Chicken – Enough kick to bring a tear to your eye and sweat to your brow………..$15.99

New York Steak*– Genuine USDA Choice Cut perfectly grilled…….$15.99

Caesar Salad* – Our version of the classic made with our homemade
old-fashioned dressing……….$15.99

Sushi* – Hand-rolled by our very own Asian cuisine experts ………$15.99

Wood-planked salmon – 11 oz.

Fresh salmon lightly seasoned and grilled….$15.99

*May contain raw or under-cooked animal product. Such items may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions.”
Option #3

Asterisk the raw or potentially raw items on the menu and at the bottom on the menu inform the customer that more food safety information is available. For example:
Grilled Cajun Chicken – Enough kick to bring a tear to your eye and sweat to your brow………..$15.99

New York Steak*– Genuine USDA Choice Cut perfectly grilled to order………….$15.99
Caesar Salad* – Our version of the classic made with our homemade old-fashioned dressing that contains fresh garlic, raw eggs and just the right amount of seasoning ………….$15.99

Sushi* – The finest raw tuna hand rolled by our very own Asian cuisine experts…………..$15.99
Wood-planked salmon – 11 oz. fresh salmon lightly seasoned and grilled…………$15.99
*Regarding the safety of these items, written information is available upon request.

 


This article is an excerpt from the Handbook for Excellent Restaurant Operations (HERO), published by the Washington Hospitality Association.  Want a hard copy of the whole manual?  It’s one of the many benefits of becoming a member!  Find out more about joining the Washington Hospitality Association here.

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Rev: 12/4/2014

Categories: HERO