Author Archives: Betsy Craig

Illinois Food Allergy Training for Restaurants

New Mandated Allergy Training Statewide in Illinois Illinois has implemented a new state law that requires restaurants and food service establishments to provide food allergen training for their staff. This law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2018, states that managers must be trained in food allergen awareness within 30 days of their hire date. It also requires that during business hours there must be at least one person working who has received the allergy training. The regulation in Illinois allows food service professionals to live intentionally when serving each guest who walks through their door. Educating team members … Continue reading

Emergency Responses to Food Allergies

What to do in an emergency Food allergic reactions can be scary and unpredictable. More and more people are showing symptoms of allergic reactions now than ever before. Anyone who serves food needs to be aware of what an allergy is, what symptoms are and how to take care of someone should they have an emergency response. The best thing you can do as a food service professional is arm yourself with knowledge and be prepared for a reaction. It is important to note that allergic reactions can happen without notice and symptoms can become severe without any warning. Taking … Continue reading

The Basics of Food Allergies

Food allergies are on the rise, and all food service staff and owners should be concerned and prepared to serve those with special dietary needs.  Below, we break down some of the basics on the proper response and how to serve these loyal diners.  Training with the AllerTrain Suite of Courses  and ongoing training as in AllerSTAR are a few of the basics  for serving success for these customers.  Additional tools, such as food allergy posters in English or Spanish and AllerCards, can be found in the AllerTrain Store. Emergency 1st Response? Always begin by asking a guest who appears … 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

Find Out Why Sodexo™ Trusts AllerTrain™ for Gluten-Free/Allergen Training

Over 5% of the American population now struggles with some sort of food allergy. This means every one of you knows someone afflicted with food allergies. If you are a food-service professional, we can practically guarantee you are in contact with allergic diners every day. It is more important now than ever for you to provide proper training and resources to your team so you can thrive as a business. We talked with Beth Winthrop, National Wellness Director for Campus Services for Sodexo, about this issue recently. On a weekly basis, Beth educates Sodexo managers across the country to ensure … Continue reading

Don’t Miss These DIY Gluten-Free Dog Treats

While AllerTrain does focus on human dietary needs, we care about the pets out there, too! And believe it or not, pets can have gluten intolerances! So, this very special post is for all of the animal lovers out there! These DIY gluten-free dog treats are great for dogs with or without gluten issues, and I promise you— your dog will love them! These delightful little snacks have been doggie tested and approved, as I just couldn’t stop myself from making a batch for the dog in my life. The tinsy tiniest most bitsyest, Bitsy for short, enjoyed a treat … Continue reading

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