When it comes to veganism, the term ‘cross-contamination’ refers to a situation where a vegan food item is tainted somewhat with animal derivatives. It is usually the process of preparing the former product at a non-vegan setting that leads to the situation. The classic example of this form of cross-contamination is plant-based meat burgers being prepared on the grill identical to the one used for animal burgers.
From the above definition, it must be clear to you that several things play a part in the food-related cross-contamination. The same goes for everything from plant-based meal prep to the product storage. Now, is there a way to keep it from happening? Of course, there is. Anyhow, it is up to those who handle food items, to keep the situation from arising. Keep reading to know what you must do as a customer or catering staff member to achieve the same.
Tips On Avoiding Cross-Contamination For Caterers
As a caterer, you would like to keep food products from being cross-contaminated. If the situation arises, you could not describe those goods as vegan-friendly. So, you must take reasonable and wise food storage and culinary practices to avoid the situation. One of these measures is to not use the same fryer, grill and so forth for vegan and meat items.
Is it impossible to guarantee that vegan food is the same as described or advertised? If yes, a good idea would be to use alternative descriptors for the product, like ‘plant-based’ to name one. The words ‘vegan’ and ‘plant-based’ do not always refer to the same forms of products. While ‘plant-based’ means the product may or may not be vegan, the descriptor does not guarantee that it is vegan.
You may also use elaborate descriptions for the merchandise to leave things to customer interpretation, especially if you are not targeting vegans. For instance, say something like this, “Our products contain no animal derivative as ingredients”. Now, when you take any of the aforementioned measures, avoid anything that customers can interpret as contradictory communication. One of the examples of contradictory communication is telling that you offer 100% vegan products in one advertisement while providing cross-contaminated food.
Tips For Customers
Just because the main onus to ensure the genuineness of the product is on caterers, it does not free you of the responsibility to avoid cross-contamination. This is to say, you should not make a vegan food purchase thinking that it is what its producer/provider claims. Remember, you have every right to expect they will prepare, cook, and store the products separately from non-vegan items. Anyhow, it is a must to consider legality here. It is not illegal for food makers/givers to prepare, cook and store vegan and other forms of food items in mixed settings.
That means you are unlikely to successfully hold the party concerned accountable and then get compensation. Even if they communicate that they sell vegan products, and offer something completely different, the above chance is slim. Why? Because the party concerned could always claim that the discrepancy between their communication and offerings are due to human error. In other words, the party could use factors like the aforementioned as a way of defending their position.
So, put your thinking cap on as a vegan customer, and make smart buying-related decisions. Consider whether a particular product is vegan or something altogether different, especially if you see descriptors like the ones mentioned above.
Are Vegans Hypocrites?
Many people feel that those who claim to be vegans and who consume plant-based meat products are showing some level of hypocrisy. Now, you might be wondering how that is the case. Those many individuals feel that eating vegan meat means that you are already exposed to regular advertisements of animal flesh and several other non-vegan items. So, according to them, non-vegan products and ingredients are always on your mind, even when consuming vegan food.
Now, how true is that? Are expecting a cross-contamination-free product and eating what you like, acts of hypocrisy? True vegans would argue that it is not really the case, and rightly so.
These are all a form of negative word of mouth regarding food. Many people often wonder who may be spreading it. The fact is that there is no one particular source to point out. It could come from meat food producers, restaurants and/or any others who are part of the hospitality business. It could also come from other dieters who are picky and particular when it comes to culinary matters.
There is perhaps a bit of war going on between vegans and non-vegans regarding whose diet is better in comparison. Depending on which side you belong to, you might take your own stance. Meanwhile, understand that cross-contamination is something that affects all forms of diet followers.