Cross contamination is a contentious issue among vegans. Whilst cross contaminated foods don’t involve the exploitation of any extra animals for the vegan option to be made, many will be strongly against the idea of meat and dairy products coming into contact with their animal free dish.
Here at The Vegan Society, we put strict yet achievable standards in place for brands to meet when registering menu items with the Vegan Trademark to help you feel comfortable, and trust that the best efforts have been made to avoid contamination within food services. Our end goal is also to ensure that more vegan options make their way onto menus and shelves to help make veganism accessible to everyone. Wherever you may be on your vegan journey, whether you’re just starting out and experimenting with Veganuary, or a seasoned veteran, we want everyone to have access to tasty vegan options.
Here’s a breakdown of our requirements for Vegan Trademark holders to ensure that registered menu items meet our standards:
All vegan produce is stored in separate areas and segregated from non-vegan foods. Trademark holders devise their own systems for this. For example, they may use different colours for containers/utensils or create specific shelves designated for vegan food storage.
All vegan meals are prepared separately. Vegan and non-vegan food components do not come into contact with each other at any stage of the cooking process.
All vegan components and dishes must be prepared separately from non-vegan dishes and components. The Vegan Society’s requirement is that separate utensils should be used just for vegan preparation. If that is not possible, our minimum requirement is that utensils are washed thoroughly in between vegan and non-vegan uses. The Trademark holder must demonstrate to us how they will keep utensils separate or cleaned between vegan and non-vegan preparation. They must also cross-reference this within their staff training.
Preparation areas and utensils are disinfected and cleaned daily, and in between vegan and non-vegan preparation. All non-vegan traces are removed. We also encourage, where possible, the use of vegan cleaning products that are registered with the Vegan Trademark.
Vegan Trademark holders supply evidence that all staff have received relevant training with regards to handling and preparing vegan dishes.
Vegan Society Site Visits
Where possible, The Vegan Society visits the premises to ensure our standards are adhered.
Trademark holders demonstrate to The Vegan Society how they intend to uphold these standards on an ongoing basis. This includes showing us how they will incorporate cross-contamination procedures into their internal audits.
The Vegan Trademark team is also on hand to continue providing guidance and support for Trademark holders should any other questions or challenges arise.
We hope this breakdown of our process has given you some insight into all the things we consider when registering food service items. The next time you order a vegan dish off a menu displaying our trademark, you can do so with the confidence and trust that they go through The Vegan Society’s diligent checks to ensure they are suitable for vegans. We'd love to see pictures of your favourite dishes that are registered by us - make sure to share them online tagging @vegantrademark on Instagram and/or Twitter!
By Vegan Society Brand Marketing Officer, Nishat Rahman.
The views expressed by our bloggers are not necessarily the views of The Vegan Society.