PhD project: Management of food allergens in foodservice operations

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Our team is currently seeking a motivated candidate for a PhD project. The project is part of a collaboration between the Food Risk Analysis and Regulatory Excellence Platform (PARERA) – of the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods (INAF) and the Department of Food Science of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FSAA) of Laval University, QC, Canada –, Food Allergy Canada (FAC), and the Global Food Regulatory Science Society (GFoRSS).

Food allergic consumers exclude the foods to which they are allergic from their diets to prevent potentially life-threatening reactions. However, this approach is difficult to apply when dining out, where the presence of allergens deliberately added as part of food recipes, as well as those resulting from cross-contamination, is rarely assessed or disclosed. Indeed, previous studies show that a large portion of food allergic reactions occur after consumption of foods prepared in restaurants. In addition, most of the errors leading to allergic reactions in foodservice settings are attributed to employees’ knowledge and communication gaps.

This project aims at developing and enhancing allergen management approaches adapted to foodservice operations with the objective to minimise the risk of allergic reactions occurring in these settings. The results of this project would also be useful to inform potential adaptations of regulatory policies to better protect allergic consumers when dining out.

This study includes the following sub-objectives:

  1. Develop a portrait of allergen management practices currently applied by Canadian restaurants through a survey and a literature review
  2. Estimate the prevalence and levels of cross-contact allergens in meals prepared in restaurants and assess risk
  3. Study allergic consumers’ behaviours and reactions with respect to different risk communication approaches potentially adopted by foodservice establishments


Required profile

  • Advanced English (essential)
  • Knowledge of the Canadian food regulatory environment
  • Systematic and organized
  • Motivated, curious and independent

Requirements and conditions

  • MSc or equivalent degree in a relevant field
  • Good academic results in previous university studies

Required documents

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum vitæ 
  • Transcript of grades


To apply, please submit the required documents to Silvia Dominguez:

Application deadline: May30th, 2023

Start date: January 2024