Café in Annapolis, Maryland becomes the first restaurant in the area to debut a certified nut-free facility.
Fort Collins, CO (RestaurantNews.com) Carrol’s Creek Café in Annapolis, Maryland became an inspiration to their community when they passed a rigorous kitchen audit with Kitchens with Confidence™ (KwC) and completed the leading food allergy training program in the country, AllerTrain™ (AT) also a division of MenuTrinfo®, at the end of 2018. With a newly certified kitchen, free from peanuts and tree nuts, newly implemented policies, and food allergy training for the entire team, Carrol’s Creek became a trailblazer in the industry and has gone above and beyond to prepare for diners with food allergies in Annapolis.
“Carrol’s Creek Café has set the bar high for other brands, restaurants, and locations to complete this rigorous audit and training program. We have seen many colleges and universities choose to set themselves apart and provide for those with special dietary needs. Carrol’s Creek is the first restaurant to undergo a kitchen audit with KwC making it the first of its kind in the country which has taken the restaurant kitchen standard to a whole new level.” says Betsy Craig, owner and founder of MenuTrinfo®, LLC. Craig went on to say, “it has been an honor and a privilege to work with Jeff and his entire team to make this dream a reality.”
In 2017 the conversation began with the MenuTrinfo® team to see if this kitchen audit was even possible and the discuss the steps needed to achieve this ambitious mission. The KwC team started working with Carrol’s Creek in August 2018 by reviewing all products, analyzing ingredients and helping develop the best practices prior to their on-site audit. A full kitchen audit was completed in November 2018 and Carrol’s Creek passed the rigorous certification process, becoming certified free from peanuts and tree nuts. The certification aims to evaluate specific policies, procedures and operations in place for the safe preparation of peanut and tree nut free foods.
For Jeff Jacobs, whose family has owned the waterfront restaurant along Spa Creek since its founding, the decision to become nut-free was deeply personal. As the parent of a child with a severe nut allergy, he is acutely aware of the challenges that must be addressed when dining out. “Those suffering from nut allergies understand a safe environment is critical to their health,” he said. With information and advice from others impacted by nut allergies, as well as insight gained from the medical community, the longtime restaurateur made the business decision to transform Carrol’s Creek into that safe, nut-free environment.
“We believe we are the first fine dining restaurant in the region that can claim this distinction,” said Jacobs. “We know some independent fast-casual restaurants and even some national chains have moved in this direction, but fine dining options to date have been very limited – typically offering nut-free choices alongside regular menu items. We wanted to do more than simply accommodate our guests’ needs, we wanted to go the extra mile.”
Carrol’s Creek chose MenuTrinfo® and its divisions KwC and AT, because they felt KwC could help them with a thorough transition to a free-from facility. Every member of their management team and all chefs trained in AllerTrain™’s management level course while the remainder of the staff completed AllerTrain™ Lite. Strict procedures prohibiting workers from bringing in items containing nuts into the restaurant were implemented. In addition to new procedures and training, guidelines on how to mitigate potential cross-contamination from food products brought in by guests were also established.
Every square foot of the waterfront restaurant’s space – from its loading dock and food storage units to the kitchen’s food prep and cooking areas to the dining rooms – underwent a thorough, top-to bottom inspection and sanitization to remove any potential nut residue. At the same time, the chefs and management carefully planned the new menu in keeping with its long-established “new American cuisine” offerings from land and sea.
About MenuTrinfo®, LLC
MenuTrinfo® is dedicated to bettering the food-service industry by providing three major services: Certified Nutritionals and food allergy/ gluten-free identification under the MenuTrinfo brand, food safety and allergen/gluten-free training known as AllerTrain™, and full-service kitchen audits division for facilities and products known as “Certified Free From ™” by Kitchens with Confidence™.
So, whether you need help with menu labeling, identifying menu items containing allergens or gluten, learning how to serve customers with food allergies or intolerances, or are looking to certify your kitchen free from some of the top allergens or gluten, MenuTrinfo® is here to help! Start at www.MenuTrinfo.com to find information on all our services. MenuTrinfo®: Protecting lives and health through nutrition and training.
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