2301 within Rand Dining Hall at Vanderbilt Passed Kitchen Audits August 2018 with Kitchens with Confidence.
Fort Collins, CO (RestaurantNews.com) This Summer, Kitchens with Confidence™ completed an audit at Vanderbilt University. 2301, located in Rand Dining Hall on campus, aims to accommodate those with special dietary needs and is now officially certified free from the top 8 allergens. The kitchen audit process is a comprehensive checklist of 40+ areas that are reviewed and audited with over 200 checkpoints. It aims to evaluate specific policies, procedures and operations in place for the safe preparation of foods free from gluten and the top 8 allergens.
Kitchens with Confidence™ was officially launched in 2017 as a part of MenuTrinfo®’s suite of services. The company has since audited kitchens around America specializing in University settings and specialty food establishments. Vanderbilt joins a list of prestigious universities who have undergone this audit to ensure the safety of their diners including Cornell University, Syracuse University, Mercyhurst University and Carnegie Mellon University to name a few.
Last year, Vanderbilt took the step to hire a Registered Dietician specifically for Campus Dining with the intention of supporting students with special dietary needs and allergens. With much discussion behind how to serve these students, the idea of 2301 was born. The space was completely renovated with new equipment, kitchenware, utensils and pots and pans with purple handles to designate an allergen free zone. In August 2018, they were certified free from the top 8 allergens through an extensive kitchen audit with Kitchens with Confidence.
On campus, students were asking how to navigate the dining halls with an allergy and where to find food that was safe to eat. The Vanderbilt dining team worked diligently to not only lead them in the right direction towards safe, delicious food, but took it a step further with a kitchen audit that assures the safety. 2301 is in one of the most popular dining halls and both meets the needs of students with allergies as well as alleviate some of the stress they undergo when trying to find food on campus. Students are excited about these changes, as it increases their variety on campus. Menu items include smoothies, salads, Halal protein sautés and plant-forward, vegan sides.
“Allergies are on the rise, and we have seen a continuous increase in the number of students with allergies and intolerances. Our hope for 2301 is to not only cater to these students, but also offer fresh, healthy ingredients on our campus for everyone to enjoy. There is something to be said for being able to jump in line, order your food, and go on about your day without having to worry whether or not your food is safe because of an allergy. Our students are here to learn and grow academically, socially and emotionally; we believe fueling your body with safe food certainly plays a part in this” said Meredith Williams, RD, LDN at Vanderbilt University.
Williams became a Certified Master Trainer with AllerTrain™ by MenuTrinfo in July 2018. Between July and September, she trained more than 200 staff members on allergens, gluten free and kitchen practices to avoid cross contamination.
“Vanderbilt University is truly devoted to safely serving those with food allergies and intolerances. 2301 is a creative and an inclusive way to serve meals that are safe and delicious!” said Ally Biernat, Manager for Kitchens with Confidence.
The kitchen assessment with Kitchens with Confidence includes an extensive review of the front of house, back of house and current policies established for food service operations. The audit is based on the recommended best practices for serving diners with special dietary needs. It also provides opportunities for growth for the kitchen and suggests venues for improvement.
Student safety is vital, and Vanderbilt has taken the measures necessary to ensure each diner with special dietary requests not only has a healthy option, but a safe experience with every meal. Since most students in the university setting are new to the freedom of adulthood, it is crucial they select a school that takes measures to ensure their safety. The fact that Vanderbilt University has a registered dietician/ certified master trainer on staff, created a safe space free from the top 8 allergens and elected to have this audit done are testaments to their dedication to serve safe food for all their diners.
About Kitchens with Confidence™
Kitchens with Confidence™ (a subsidiary of MenuTrinfo™, LLC) is the leading full-service kitchen auditing service and “certified free from” authority for today’s foodservice operations. Officially launched in 2017, Kitchens with Confidence has become the external certification arm for the Top 8 food allergens and gluten. Backed by the ANSI-accredited allergen-training leader in the industry, AllerTrain™, Kitchens with Confidence™ is guaranteed to take your establishments’ allergen expertise to the next level. Kitchens with Confidence™ has certified multiple kitchens across America including Syracuse University, Cornell University, Mercyhurst University, Carnegie Mellon University, College of the Holy Cross and Allie’s Gluten-Free Goodies. For more information about Kitchens with Confidence visit http://kitchenswithconfidence.com.