(RestaurantNews.com) You’d be hard pressed these days to find a restaurant or university dining hall that hasn’t encountered a guest with a food allergy or intolerance. Roughly 15 million Americans have food allergies and the most severe reactions can be fatal. Some food establishments may view special dietary requests as a nuisance or have no idea how to handle them, while others not only have a safety protocol in place for allergen free dishes but take great pride in their ability to provide outstanding service to those with food allergies.
AllerTrain by MenuTrinfo has chosen to recognize the industry leaders who are at the forefront of food allergy safety, service and training in the restaurant and university sectors with the 2017 Food Allergy Awards. The winners of the awards will be announced at the upcoming NRA Show in Chicago.
Laurie Thomeczek, MPH, Director of Education at AllerTrain by MenuTrinfo shares how the awards came to be and the nomination process.
What sparked the idea for the AllerTrain Food Allergy Awards?
There are so many outstanding brands, schools and individuals who are dedicated to food allergy training and safety. We, at AllerTrain wanted to recognize and celebrate those who are leading the industry in their service to customers with special dietary needs. For years, we have seen brands and universities go above and beyond for their customers and it is high time that AllerTrain awards those efforts.
How many awards will be given out?
We wanted to recognize the achievements of restaurants and universities separately. Therefore, a total of eight awards will be presented to both a restaurant brand and university under the following categories:
- Best Food Allergy Training
- Best Food Allergy Innovation
- Best Food Allergy Champion
- Best Overall Food Allergy Program
What kind of response have you had to the nomination process?
We’ve been overwhelmed with the amount of nominations. To see so many organizations and individuals that are passionate about ensuring those with food allergies can eat safely and confidently at their locations has been amazing. What has been the most touching is seeing how many diners and students want to recognize the lengths their restaurant or college goes to in their efforts to keep people with food allergies safe.
What criteria is being considered by your panel of experts to determine the winners?
It was like choosing from the best of the best. The recipients were chosen based on their passion, drive and experience in food allergy safety, service and training. We hope these awards will not only celebrate the achievements of our recipients’ hard work, but will also raise awareness and motivate others in the industry to follow suit.
When will the winners be announced?
We can hardly wait, but the great reveal is Sunday, May 21st at 12:30pm at the AllerTrain booth #7264 at the NRA Show in Chicago.
AllerTrain is the leading ANSI-accredited food allergy and gluten-free training program for the food service industry. The AllerTrain Suite of Courses are designed to cater to various food service professionals and settings including, restaurant managers, hourly employees, chefs, university dining halls, university resident advisers and primary and secondary school staff. The courses teach food service professionals how to better serve diners with special dietary needs, including food allergies, food intolerance and celiac disease. Various course delivery options are available including e-learning, live taught by a certified Master Trainer, or via live webinar. For more information go to www.AllerTrain.com, call 888-767-6368 or email info@AllerTrain.com