Food allergy in the workplace
Navigating the business world can be a tough gig – especially when you’re applying for your first real job. Add food allergy to the mix, and this may create increased anxiety and stress. However, having a job, whether it’s part-time while you study or full time, doesn’t have to be like that. Read more
Everyone is entitled to a safe work environment – and that includes you!
Find the job that’s right for you
Ironically, a lot of companies with casual work available for teens and young adults fall within the food service industry (fast food outlets, bakeries, supermarkets, cafes etc). If working with food creates anxiety for you, there are a number of jobs that you can apply for that don’t revolve around food.
Non-food casual job options
- Clothing, apparel and department stores
- Other retail outlets (i.e. electronic, book, homewares etc)
- Pharmacies or newsagencies
- A local RSL or community club – reception & welcoming guests
- Recreation/sports clubs
Make yourself known
Food allergies aren’t visible until a reaction occurs. Tell your managers about your food allergy. Teach your colleagues what the signs and symptoms of allergic reaction are, and where they can find your EpiPen in case of an emergency.
Safe Work Australia requires that all workplaces have staff trained in first-aid. Ask your manager about the first-aid procedures and policies in place that will keep you safe.
On the job tips
- Carry your EpiPen.
- Don’t sacrifice safety. Tell your colleagues about your food allergy, and if you feel unsafe at any point during your shift then speak up!
- Pack your own food so that you don’t have to rely on purchasing food during your meal break. If you’ve found a job in retail, you’ll most likely be working in a mall or shopping centre. Avoid cross-contamination at the food court by packing your own lunch – you’ll save money too!