From the desk of our CEO, Betsy
Today everyone is looking for assurance while dining. Restaurants are desperately needing to be accurate because the stakes are higher than ever. It’s crucial to know what’s in food than it is now with over 32 million Americans having a food allergy. Knowing whose food to trust and what and where to eat is the basics of the food service industry today. A lot of these diners are the ones driving special request diets like Paleo, Keto, Vegan, and many more. This is why we are seeing the
“Certified Free From” trend pop up everywhere.
The food industry saw Gluten Free Certification and Identification rise to the top in the early 2010’s. Still today many packaged foods, menu items, college campus areas and catering orders are cluttered with GF requests. It has always been, in my opinion, only ever a part of the story. I believe approximately half of the folks who have Celiac Disease also have at least one other special dietary need. It turns out, the protocol and standards used to identify a food item without gluten is the same blueprint for a food without an allergen.
The Birth of AllerTrain™
In 2011, I was developing the first (and what I think is still the best) food allergy training suite of courses known as AllerTrain™. Next came need for successful Gluten Free dining in our courses. Adding it was simple and in hindsight the exact right move.
We performed many food allergy audits in 2015/2016 with the then leading food allergy nonprofit. It became clear that college food service settings had needs for certification and they needed the next level help. We aimed to have a clear second set of eyes to review how they were handling the needs of the diners who had food allergies. I thought it would be amazing to help support the colleges who got it right. Creating a “Certified Free From™” designation based on what allergens were not in certain area or entire facility. And bam…
Kitchens with Confidence by MenuTrinfo, LLC was hatched.
Our first major project began with Cornell Dining. We audited an entire area that was “Certified Free From™” Tree Nuts, Peanuts, and Gluten. The students with food allergies and their parents needed to know they were able to eat. The University had a trained set of eyes reviewing all processes “From loading dock to tabletop”. Our company mission has always been to protect lives and health, and this fit beautifully within that group of services. If you are interested in all the schools, we have permission to share with you today have a look below.
Where We’ve Certified
From campuses to products we have been expanding even further to Restaurant Certifications (Carroll’s Creek Cafe in Annapolis, MD). With this high demand, we are rolling out new lines of certifications coming in early 2020. It is easy for folks who serve the public to understand how important a simple seal can be. It makes the difference between trusting a product verses setting it back on the shelf and buying the competitors. We also can add a certified Gluten Free seal for those that want a combined review. Our ever-growing list of early adopter manufacturers can see the ROI for being awarded a “Certified Free From™” certificate.
We are launching into 2020 with a clear view of serving those with food allergies with “Certified Free From™” products in equally “Certified Free From™” locations.