The world of best practices for handling food allergies continues to evolve, and as it does Bon Appétit teams must keep pace.
At Grove City College in Grove City, PA, the dining team is dedicated to offering high-quality food options that are safe for all guests to enjoy with full peace of mind. In July 2018, the Bon Appétit team at Grove City College was the first in the company to complete the FARECheck certification process. (FARE stands for Food Allergy Research & Education, the leading group in the food allergy space.) Since that time, the team has continued training, getting new employees FARECheck certified, and completing Bon Appétit’s own food allergy awareness training twice per year.
According to Vice President for Enrollment Services Dr. John G. Inman, the importance of food allergy training cannot be overstated. He was extremely proud when the team earned its FARECheck certification. He has even noticed a sharp reduction in the number of food allergy-related incidents, and appreciates the notable increase in the amount of allergy-specific information shared with students. Even prospective students and families who tour campus have taken note, expressing appreciation for how much the college and its partners clearly care about their children eating safely.
In the past year, the team has enhanced its allergen program further by purchasing purple-handled utensils (the color denotes they are reserved for special diet use), and dedicating pans and special allergen stations in the kitchens to prepare food for students who have severe allergies. The team also schedules dietary food forums for students with allergies. Students who have attended these forums have provided positive feedback. “Communication with chef is going really well,” said one. “Appreciate everything Bon Appétit has been doing,” commented another, while a third shared that “students are very thankful for the food service program and options that are offered to them.”
“I very much appreciate and respect the efforts of Bon Appétit’s staff. They go to great lengths to ensure not only a quality product, but the safety of our students as well.”
The parent of a student on a special diet even took the time to send feedback: “I want to express my appreciation and gratitude for how helpful and accommodating Bon Appétit has been with our daughter. It is reassuring to know that the program is there for her, and she said it is going well.”
Disabilities Service Coordinator Zachery Brown also regularly gets positive feedback from guests with food allergies. “I very much appreciate and respect the efforts of Bon Appétit’s staff. They go to great lengths to ensure not only a quality product, but the safety of our students as well. It has been a great privilege to work alongside Bon Appétit. I am very thankful for the service they provide not only to our students with dietary needs, but [to] the campus as a whole.”
For its part, the Bon Appétit team wants all guests to enjoy every meal without added stress. Having a meal and socializing with friends should be a time to relax, enjoy fellowship, and savor fresh, great-tasting, and above all safe food. The team looks forward to staying at the forefront of new opportunities to ensure guest safety.
Submitted by Lynna McNany, Operations Manager