Afraid of Restaurants? If Your Child Suffers From Food Allergies, SafeFARE Can Help

babies-with-chef-hats-and-foodThink you can’t dine out because it’s not safe for your child who suffers from food allergies? Well, think again. In April of 2014, the Food Allergy Research and Education network launched a new program called SafeFARE that’s designed to make dining out safer for the more than 15 million people who suffer from food allergies. The program assists both those who manage food restaurants and those who manage food allergies succeed in making the restaurant experience safe and enjoyable for all diners.

How Does SafeFARE Work?

SafeFARE was created to provide training and education to restaurant professionals. SafeFARE then connects nearby allergy-aware restaurants with diners, whether at home or traveling. Training for restaurant professionals extends to greeters, chefs, servers, managers and owners.

The SafeFARE website contains resources for both the consumer and restaurant professionals. Resources include training, information, reviews and methods to connect diners and restaurants in the following ways:

  • Online Library -FARE’s Food Allergy Resources online library provides “expert advice,” information regarding dining out with food allergies, and a diner “chef card” template. The chef card is carried by the diner and presented to the chef before the meal to indicate the cardholder has a severe food allergy, which foods are to be avoided to prevent a life-threatening reaction, and a reminder that utensils, equipment and food prep surfaces must be cleaned immediately before preparing the cardholder’s food.
  • Training Programs for Restaurant Professionals – Training is provided through a partnership between FARE, the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) ServSafe© Allergens program and MenuTrinfo’s AllerTrainTM service as follows:
    • National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe© Allergens Course
      • The course is a comprehensive interactive training program designed to educate restaurant employees and managers about the severity of food allergies and the precautions that must be taken to keep diners safe.
      • Training includes education on defining and recognizing food allergies and symptoms, allergens, cross contact issues and proper cleaning methods. Training is for restaurant operations staff in both “front of the house” and “back of the house.”
    • MenuTrinfo’s AllerTrainTM Program
      • This course combines instructor led classroom training and online webinars designed to teach chefs and food service personnel safe handling and delivery procedures of meals for diners suffering from food allergies.
      • Training includes the basics of food allergy and intolerance; Celiac Disease; identifying allergic reactions; food handling, storage and preparation; laws, polices and emergency protocols.
  • Relevant Restaurant Reviews
    • FARE has partnered with AllergyEats, the leading guide to food allergy-aware restaurant reviews, to help diners who suffer from or manage food allergies obtain relevant restaurant reviews.
    • At AllergyEats, diners may search restaurants based on diner allergy type, level of restaurant “allergy friendliness,” and location. The site also includes:
      • Food Allergy Dining Tips
      • Food Allergy Resources
      • Allergy Friendly Bakeries
      • Blogs
      • Downloads for AllergyEats apps for Android and iPhone
  • Searchable Restaurant Database
    • Through the searchable database of food aware restaurants, diners can search eating establishments by neighborhood or type of cuisine. From there diners can view individual restaurant policies, websites, social media pages, logos and AllergyEats profiles.

SafeFARE for Restaurants

To participate, a restaurant must be qualified for inclusion in the SafeFARE database. SafeFARE requires at least one staff member to have completed the National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe© Allergens Online Course, or the MenuTrinfo’s AllerTrainTM course. Restaurants that participate in the program may obtain a “SafeFARE Listed” web badge to post on their website to let diners know they are an allergy-aware restaurant.

While dining out might still be challenging for parents who manage children’s allergies, with SafeFARE, eating out can be a safer, more enjoyable and less unpredictable endeavor.


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