Special Meal Requests
Special Meal Requests - understanding the different types of meals to be ordered.
Allergies, Intolerances and Medical
Any allergies to nuts, eggs, seafood, dairy etc must be highlighted to all caterers / chefs - if any of these items are consumed unknowingly immediate medical attention will be required.
Food intolerances mean an inability to digest certain foods – culprits are often wheat, dairy, gluten and seafood.
A Diabetic meal is a meal is high in complex carbohydrates and fibre, has a low-fat content and contains little sugar.
A Low-calorie meal is high in complex carbohydrates, fibre and unsaturated fat, has a low cholesterol level and contains little saturated fat.
Low salt meals have no added salt and highly salted ingredients will be omitted.
Gluten intolerant meals generally have ingredients verified by the manufactured label to ensure gluten is not present.
Lactose intolerant meal means dairy products must be omitted.
Vegetarian simply means a plant-based diet. There are several kinds of vegetarian diets, defined by what types of foods are consumed.
A strict Vegetarian (a Vegan) avoids all foods of animal origin, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs or dairy products.
A Lacto-ovo vegetarian will not eat meat, meat products or seafood. They will include dairy products, eggs and vegetables in their diets.
Pesco-vegetarians eat fish, dairy products, and eggs along with plant foods
Semi-vegetarians, will eat a little poultry along with fish, dairy products and eggs.
Religious Meal Preferences
The event planner should discuss with each delegate any individual meal preferences as soon as possible, to determine exact requirements. Special meal requests in this category need to be ordered in advance, they are often costly and must be budgeted for.
On site any planner needs to identify delegates with special meal requests and liaise directly with them as the food will be kept separate to that of the main meal and guests need to be shown where to locate it.
As a rule of thumb for this category, good vegetarian choices should be made available.
Food in the indian community is considered to be a gift from God and must be treated with respect.
A Hindu meal does not contain beef, beef derivatives, veal or pork. Beef specifically is considered taboo as the cow is a sacred animal. However, not all Hindus avoid eating meat.
Asian (Hindu) vegetarian meals usually consist of spicy vegetarian combinations with limited use of dairy products.
When a guest requests a Kosher meal this will have to be ordered in from a specific Kosher Kitchen. Any snacks, starters, main course and desserts including the cutlery will be delivered, sealed with tape from the Judicial council. All food must be heated with the seals intact and be served unopened. Should there be any tears to the seal and or the packaging the guest will not eat it.
Kosher foods fall into the Jewish dietary law, which is divided into three categories: meat, dairy and pareve.
The kosher kitchen contains separate sets of dishes, utensils, cookware, and separate preparation areas for meat and dairy as meat and dairy may not be cooked or eaten together.
Pareve, is comprised of foods which are neither meat nor dairy and may therefore be eaten with either.
All meat, fowl and meat parts in any product must come from a kosher animal that has been slaughtered, examined, and its blood drained off according to the dietary laws before it is considered kosher.
All dairy products require kosher certification and must come from a kosher animal.
Muslim – Halal
In Arabic, the word halal means permitted or lawful. Halal foods are foods that Muslims are allowed to eat under Islamic dietary guidelines. The criteria specify both what foods are allowed, and how the food must be prepared.
In essence, Muslim followers cannot consume the following:
• pork or pork by products
• animals that were dead prior to slaughtering
• animals not slaughtered properly or not slaughtered in the name of Allah
• blood and blood by products
• carnivorous animals
• birds of prey
All meats must come from ritually slaughtered animals.
Rules concerning Halal food are relatively difficult to adhere to in non-Muslim countries. If there is no other food available, then a Muslim is allowed to eat non-halal food.