At Parkhurst, one of our core values is “We Care About People,” which comes to life in our kitchens every day. With more than 15 million Americans living with food allergies and over 3 million living with celiac disease, we are not only dedicated to providing fresh and delicious meals to our guests, but to making sure their dietary needs are met daily. Our proactive approach to allergens can be defined by three E’s.
Allergen awareness starts from the inside out, so we educate our team members so they can serve guests with confidence. Parkhurst Dining partners with MenuTrinfo to certify manager-level team members in AllerTrain gluten-free and allergy training and to certify food handler team members in AllerTrain Lite gluten-free and allergy training, with all certifications valid for 5 years. The best way we can prevent an allergic reaction to food from happening is by providing in-depth food safety and allergy training to our team members so that they can guide guests with special dietary needs to make the right choices.
What’s in our recipes? Our guests expect us to know everything that’s in our foods, including allergens. Parkhurst Dining uses NetMenu’s allergen labeling tool to produce recipes with accurate allergy information automatically for team members and guests to reference. There are currently 8 top allergens that must be labeled in packaged foods: dairy, egg, fish, peanut, shellfish, soy, tree nut, and wheat, with sesame becoming the ninth allergen to be labeled starting in 2023. Since allergens are not always easily identifiable, having a properly written recipe and accurate labeling is crucial in order to understand allergens.
We have a collection of Inspired Eats recipes that are vetted by our internal nutrition team to ensure they are free from the top 9 allergens and gluten. Our corporate dietician looks through every ingredient to ensure there are no hidden allergens in these recipes so that our operators can create them with confidence, knowing that they are safe for our guests.
While we educate our team members to identify allergens and guide guests, Parkhurst also strives to empower guests to make dining decisions for themselves. When they walk into a Parkhurst Dining location with Inspired Eats or Clean Plate options, they can rest assured their dietary needs are being taken into consideration, and if at any time they have questions, they can go to their specific Parkhurst team for answers.