ANSI- What’s the Big Deal?

The AllerTrain U course has been added to our growing list of ANSI accredited food allergy and gluten-free training courses, along with AllerTrain and AllerTrain Lite. The AllerTrain Suite of Courses is already unique for offering courses that cater to various food service sectors, and for our ability to deliver these courses through multiple platforms. We are multi-faceted and can accommodate clients in whatever way is best for them.  Achieving ANSI accreditation for the AllerTrain, AllerTrain Lite and now AllerTrain U courses, sets us on an entirely different level than our competitors. To us, this is a big deal, but … Continue reading

Required Restaurant Allergen Training: Wave of the future?

Legislation recently passed in Montgomery County, Maryland, mandating that all restaurant shifts include at least one allergy safety-trained employee has had its share of both positive and negative reviews. But, the fact is that the legislation will kick into effect this July 1 and — like it or not — restaurants there must be ready. That’s why the Maryland County Department of Health and Human Services is supporting the move by providing area restaurants with lists of approved online and in-person food allergy training courses. The reality also is that though many jurisdictions nationally may not yet have similar regulations, all food … Continue reading

Undeclared Allergens

Undeclared Allergens are a major cause of food allergy recalls, that have been on a notable increase since 2011. Reported food allergic reactions do underscore a public health concern, and this is not limited to the Big 8. The root causes of undeclared allergen recalls suggest that most are not for simply a trace amount of the allergen. During the research for this blog, I noticed that there have been 75 recalls from February to April of this year. Of those 75, 33 were due to undeclared allergens, 22 due to listeria, and 20 due to other causes such as … Continue reading

Setting the Bar

As a food safety professional focused on allergens, I see a lot of products and operations. One operation that I had the pleasure of visiting recently has set the bar, in my opinion, for gluten and allergen free cooking and baking. Allie’s GF Goodies in Hicksville, NY is an amazing bakery that is doing a lot of things right in the field of allergen / gluten- free baking. Allison Wolin Luckman has been working on “creative eating” for quite a while. The change came from not only her own needs, but also those of her children, after watching them being … Continue reading

What’s the Hysteria About Listeria?

You need not dig into the news today to read about Listeria and the dangerous effects that is has on people, especially those who are pregnant, elderly and those that are immuno-suppressed. Most recently, there was a recall for Colby and Colby Jack Deli Cheeses sold by Meijer stores. This product was sold from November 10, 2016 to February 9, 2017. Deli meats and cheeses are food stuffs that have a high risk for contamination from Listeria. What causes listeriosis? Listeriosis is food poisoning that is caused by eating foods that are contaminated with the bacteria, (L. monocytogenes). Listeria is … Continue reading

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me…..

Have you ever sung the Happy Birthday song to yourself?  If you have while washing your hands, you are in the minority, as researchers at Michigan State University found that only 5 percent of people wash their hands properly. If you are like me, you find this statistic very concerning. They also found that 15 percent of men didn’t wash their hands at all. During my travels across the country, I am sad to say that this seems to be true. Why don’t people wash their hands? The top three reasons stated are the use of hand sanitizer, no soap, … Continue reading

Office Holiday Parties- 5 tips for keeping them food allergy friendly

Tis the season for eating, baking and indulging in your favorite holiday recipes and treats. Gingerbread, fruit cake, pies and cookies galore set the stage for the time of year laced with sugar and gluten. For those living with life threatening food allergies, intolerances or celiac disease this time of year calls for heightened food security and personal safety surrounding their health. Many traditional holiday foods may not be an option for these individuals, and determining what is safe to eat at the annual office holiday party can be difficult for them if clear communication is not present. Help your … Continue reading

Life is Like the First Batch of Pancakes

What’s Your Story Guest Blog: Written by the Allergy Queen (AKA: Trish Gavankar) Ever hear the phrase, life is like a box of chocolates? It sounds beautiful, I mean who’s complaining about a culinary surprise of a chocolate mix with each bite of reality? But a bite of reality when you live with food allergies may be rather unpleasant, if not deadly. Last Thursday, my 14 year old daughter and I were having a fantastic mother- daughter day that included plans for respective training sessions with our favorite Lifetime Fitness Personal Trainers, new hair cut and style, hamburger and fries … Continue reading

Meet Your FASI 2016 Speakers

This November, food industry experts from around the country will be gathering for healthy discussions around how the industry can continue to innovate and respond to the increasing important food-allergy crisis. There are many conferences happening each year but not many have a registration limit of 100 people, giving the attendees the opportunity to interact with speakers, panels, and vendors in a personal way.  The Food Allergy Symposium for Industry is for professionals who have the responsibility to create, implement, and oversee programs for food allergy education and training in their institutions.  Take a chance to meet some of our … Continue reading

Free AllerTrain Educational Webinar to Educate Industry Professionals on New Legislation

Fort Collins, CO, July 12, 2016 – AllerTrain by MenuTrinfo will be continuing MenuTrinfo’s educational webinar series on July 25th with a free webinar sharing updates regarding new food allergy legislation. MenuTrinfo launched their monthly educational webinar series in June and drew industry professionals from across the country. This month, MenuTrinfo’s ANSI-accredited food allergy and gluten-free training and certification brand, AllerTrain, will be hosting the webinar series to talk about food-allergy legislation. With over 5% of the population now having some sort of food allergy, understanding the legislation surrounding food allergies is more important than ever. Laurie Thomeczek, MPH, AllerTrain … Continue reading

The Peanut Butter (Allergy) Crunch Heard ‘Round the Country

First, it was Chipotle. Now it’s Panera Bread. It seems that no brand, large or small, is immune to the many health-related food crises in the United States today. While Chipotle is working to recover from its food safety issues earlier this year, Panera Bread is facing a $500,000 lawsuit after a then 5-year-old child allegedly ate a sandwich from the chain that contained peanut butter. The girl’s family claims in the suit that employees at the store where the alleged incident took place were alerted to the youngster’s peanut allergy via a message sent through the restaurant’s online ordering … Continue reading

Beyond the Top Eight Allergens: Spices, Flavorings and Colorings

As food allergies continue to become a more prominent public concern, the foodservice industry must practice awareness and caution while handling food. Expanding beyond the Top Eight Allergens is an important concept in food service, as many diners express concerns regarding lesser-known allergens. There are over 170 food proteins that can trigger an allergic reaction, yet only eight of these are required by law to be identified on food labels in an allergen statement. With so many unidentified ingredients lurking within products, individuals in the industry must remain proactive when it comes to allergens. The Top Eight Allergens, which encompass … Continue reading

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