What does it mean to be “Certified Free-From™” by MenuTrinfo®?
Upon successful completion of an audit, MenuTrinfo® will certify your facility “free from” Gluten, Peanuts, Tree nuts, Eggs, Fish, Shellfish, Soy, Milk, Sesame and/or Wheat – based on the program you select. As part of the audit, we review all policies and procedures related to allergen management, including procurement, storage, food prep, and more. The “Certified Free From” seal shows third-party validation of allergen-free claims, adding trust and transparency for the food allergic consumer or diner.
Do the MenuTrinfo “Certified Free From®” facilities test their finished
You bet! In order to maintain any certification MenuTrinfo®, all clients that are “Certified Free From™” allergens and/or gluten must test their facility and/or products for each allergen and gluten at a minimum of once a month and provide proof of those tests to MenuTrinfo®.
Why test for allergens and gluten?
• Verify and validate allergen and/or gluten control programs
• Support certification by confirming food is maintaining “Free-From”
• Ensure allergen food safety
• Added value for consumers
What are MenuTrinfo®’s recommended testing methods?
• Immunochemical methods are the most specific and sensitive tests for continuous allergen monitoring
• Lateral flow devices (LFD)
◦ Easy to use, rapid results, and affordable
◦ Comprehensive testing of equipment/surfaces, raw ingredients, and finished products
◦ Require validation to ensure that the test will be positive in the true presence of the allergen
• MenuTrinfo® considers LFD testing paired with visual inspection of cleanliness to be a reasonable approach for monitoring allergen residues as part of a valid and verified allergen control program.
What test kits does MenuTrinfo® recommend to use to meet testing compliance?
MenuTrinfo has reviewed an approved dozens of different test kits. There is an option for every allergen-free food provider!
What is MenuTrinfo®’s policy on Food Allergen Thresholds?
The sensitivity levels of the available lateral flow device test kits are continuously changing based on the available technology. The FDA has yet to set a standard threshold for allergens, so MenuTrinfo has determined these values based on available testing methods and research on the levels when a food allergic reaction may occur. All allergens have a threshold of 5 ppm, and gluten has a threshold of 10 ppm.
What is MenuTrinfo®’s policy on Gluten Free?
MenuTrinfo requires all clients that are certified gluten-free produce foods that do not contain
more than 10 ppm.
I have a dedicated space and have successfully completed an audit through MenuTrinfo®. How can I display my efforts?
A certified establishment or space will be provided with the audit report as well as a certificate of audit, which will display the name of the establishment, the area certified, the MenuTrinfo certification seal, and the certified free from logo. The logo will depict the allergens that the facility has been found to be free from. The facility should proudly display their certificate of accomplishment in or near the area that has been certified.
Is a MenuTrinfo® audit similar to a health inspection audit?
Some aspects of the audit itself are similar, however, MenuTrinfo® audits and services are voluntary while health inspections are mandatory. A MenuTrinfo audit is encouraged for any establishment or manufacturer that feels they have gone above and beyond when catering to consumers or guests with allergens, any establishment that seeks verification of their current efforts.
Can I receive a MenuTrinfo® Seal of Audit and Certified Free from Logo if I do not have a dedicated space?
It is possible, but the nature of a shared space creates a lot more potential for cross-contact. Get in touch with us to see if your shared facility will be able to qualify for certification.
What is the cost of a MenuTrinfo® certified free from audit?
Costs are dependent upon services provided. Contact us at Info@MenuTrinfo.com for more information.
How long does certification last?
Establishments who wish to maintain their accredited status with MenuTrinfo® must be audited and certified on an annual basis.
Do you make any exemptions for ingredients containing the top 8 food allergens? (Fish oil, soy oil, etc.)
MenuTrinfo® takes its lead from the FDA:
The MenuTrinfo® product approval process is consistent with and guided by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, 21 U.S.C. §343 et seq. (“FALCPA”). FALCPA mandates that foods that contain a “major food allergen ” or a protein derived therefrom be appropriately labeled. An exception is made in FALCPA for “any highly refined oil derived from a food specified…and any ingredient derived from such highly refined oil.” (Section 201 as amended by section 102(b)). Following this guidance, MenuTrinfo will allow ingredients containing highly refined oils derived from allergenic ingredients to be used in CFF production.