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 left out of enjoying birthday cake and other treats. She created a hashtag that is the motto of her bakery, #nokidleftout
Allie and her team have created an environment in her bakery that take segregation and labeling to another level. Upon entering Allie’s kitchen I noticed that she has separate ovens for items that are vegan and contain soy. I also began to see the level to which Allie and her team label the containers, bags and boxes for ALL ingredients. They are color coded, Red (Fruits/Vegetables), Green (Dairy-Free), Yellow (Egg-Free) and Purple (Allergen-Free). This system applies to all equipment in the kitchen.
This level of detail to potential cross-contact is an industry best practice. Allie offers items that are vegan, gluten-free, peanut / tree-nut free, coconut free, sesame free, dairy free as well as kosher. The dedication to attain this level of certification is tremendous. When someone thinks that you need a huge operation to be able to service people with allergens, Allie and her team prove that where there is a will there is a way.
Allie’s GF Goodies proves that you can safely service those with food allergies, without sacrificing taste. I tasted a few of the treats that they offer and they were amazing. I never would have known what was omitted. Kudos to you Allie, and your team. Others can learn from what you are doing, and how you are doing it.