AllerTrain™ hosted its second annual allergy awards and selected winners for eight different categories. These awards recognize outstanding restaurant and university leaders at the forefront of the food-service industry in food allergy training and safety.

A panel of distinguished food allergy experts and trainers selected this year’s winners from an impressive nomination pool. We recognized and honored award recipients at our booth during the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago (May 19-22).

Congratulations to our 2018 Allergy Award Winners!

2018 Best Food Allergy Training for Restaurants Sharon Maloney, Portillo’s
2018 Best Food Allergy Training for Universities Mackenzie Gordon, Sodexo- Fairfield University
2018 Best Food Allergy Innovation for Restaurants Nicole Jones, Red Robin International
2018 Best Food Allergy Innovation for Universities Erica Nehrling, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2018 Best Food Allergy Champion for Restaurants Allison Luckman, Allie’s GF Goodies
2018 Best Food Allergy Champion for Universities Kimberly Mayer, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
2018 Best Overall Food Allergy Program for Universities Michele Lefebvre, Cornell University
2018 Honorable Mention Stefan Baker, Olivet Nazarene University


“We at AllerTrain™ feel it’s important to honor those at the forefront of the industry, passionate about food allergy safety especially when it comes to managing food allergies and taking care of diners’ individual needs. Through these allergy awards we not only get to honor these individuals, restaurants and colleges/universities but also to acknowledge them for their hard efforts. Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 awards, we are grateful for your hard work in the food allergy world as are the millions of diners who feel safer dining out of their homes in all food service areas!”  Betsy Craig, CEO of AllerTrain™ by MenuTrinfo



“I am both honored and humbled by this special recognition from AllerTrain™ for the effort that our entire team puts into safe management of food allergies! We have worked diligently over the years to establish a strong program that puts our students and their health first, and developing strong relationships with students and their families as they move onto campus is a big part of that. Everything we do to keep our guests safe, from careful allergen labeling, to gluten-free and allergen-free stations in several eateries, to our 100% gluten-free dining room, has evolved from that commitment to individualized care.”  Michele Lefebvre, Director, Nutrition Management at Cornell Dining



 “Training is turning knowledge into action. You can possess great knowledge but not create or improve food safety procedures. Your impact is using your knowledge in the kitchen and getting others to do the same.” Sharon Maloney, Food Safety&Quality Supervisor, Portillo’s Hot Dogs, LLC





At Red Robin our teams take pride in our ability to provide accurate allergen information for our menu items and we have processes designed to prepare meals that meet the dietary preferences of our Guests.  We are elated and honored to be recognized by Menutrinfo as the 2018 Food Allergy Innovation Award recipient.”   Nicole Jones, Regional Operations Director from Red Robin International





College can be a stressful time for students being their first time away from home, at Fairfield we try to make the transition as easy and comfortable as possible for students with allergies by building a foundation of trust. Our extensive Allergy training through AllerTrain for employees helps keep all of our students safe when dining on campus. We pride ourselves on offering delicious and safe foods for our allergen students by going the extra mile to accommodate their needs.”  Mackenzie Gordon MS, RDN, LDN, Fairfield University Dining Services, Campus Dietitian






“University Housing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, believes that students with food allergies and intolerances should have an experience equitable to their peers. Students should be able to come to Illinois and focus on their studies, extracurricular activities, friends, and campus life — not worry about finding a safe meal. Everyone should have access to food that is delicious, safe, and easily accessible. The Inclusive Solutions App was developed by the team at Touchwork, LLC.” Erica Whitney Nehrling, MS, RDN, LDN, Assistant Director and Dietitian of Dining Services


“Working as the campus registered dietitian at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has opened my eyes to the importance of providing a safe and inclusive environment for students with special dietary needs.  Each year, the number of students diagnosed with food allergies has grown exponentially which has shifted my focus to food allergy education and expanding our programs. I spend time talking to our students and their families so they understand that we take their needs seriously and we are committed to keeping them safe and healthy. After four years at Rensselaer, I am proud to see the first group of students that I’ve worked with navigate our dining program successfully and have a rewarding dining experience.  I am committed to looking for new and innovative ways to enhance our food allergy program so that we are better today than we were yesterday.”  Kimberly Mayer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Master Trainer, Allertrain


We are thrilled to recognize industry leaders at the forefront of food allergy safety, training and service through their annual allergy awards. Congratulations to this year’s winners and all those nominated for your hard work and dedication to keeping diners with food allergies safe!

We will accept nominations for the Third Annual Allergy Awareness Awards in spring 2019. All nominations will be accepted on our website and winners will be announced May 2019.