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National Restaurant Association - How much do you know about food allergies?

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How much do you know about food allergies?

The producers of AllergyEats, a comprehensive guide to allergy-friendly restaurants in the United States, will hold its annual conference offering tips, tools and information to restaurateurs and foodservice operators seeking knowledge on how best to serve customers suffering from food allergies.

The conference will be held Oct. 21 in New York City and will offer information on maximizing safety, customer engagement, loyalty and revenue.

“We’re thrilled to see an increasing number of restaurants responding to the growing concern about food allergies and intolerances,” said Paul Antico, founder and CEO of AllergyEats. “Increasing numbers of restaurants are training their staff about food allergies and publishing allergy information on menus, but we know it is sometimes difficult for the industry to get all of the information it needs as quickly and easily as possible. That is why we are holding this event – to bring allergy experts and foodservice professionals together so they can learn from each other. With more than 12 million Americans currently living with food allergies and another 3 million diagnosed with celiac disease, it is important to understand the needs of and accommodate this growing customer base.”

Education sessions at this year’s conference will include:

  • Food allergy basics, to spotlight fundamentals, statistics and the realities of accommodating food-allergic and food-intolerant guests.
  • Restaurants that get it right, showcasing operators who excel at accommodating food-allergic guests. They will share their successful food-allergy procedures and protocols with attendees.
  • Basic training, featuring top restaurant trainers specializing in food allergies and their special dietary requirements. They will discuss how to become more allergy-friendly and improve and minimize safety risks.
  • Modifying recipes for the food-allergic diner. Chefs who are experts in accommodating customers with allergies talk about solutions for recipe substitutions and how to replace common allergens found in commercial kitchens.
  • Food allergies in colleges and universities, which will look at how institutions serve food-allergic and gluten-intolerant diners three meals per day, seven days a week. The session will focus on staff training, menu development and communication with food-allergic students.
  • The financials around food allergies, which will explore the economics of accommodating food-allergic diners, including how increased loyalty can become a profit opportunity.

Speakers at the event include Matt Abdoo, chef de cuisine at Del Posto restaurant in New York City; Robin Hamm, director of food safety, quality and commercialization at Red Robin International Inc.; Betsy Craig, founder and CEO of nutrition concern MenuTrinfo; Scott H. Sicherer, chief of the pediatric division of allergy and immunology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City; and Beth Hillson, founder of the Gluten-Free Pantry, food editor for “Gluten Free & More”, and author of the “Complete Guide to Living Well Gluten Free” and “Gluten-Free Makeovers.”

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