/ Food Allergy Kitchen Audit

As we near the end of September and usher in the beginning of fall, excitement for the holiday season is palpable. Decorative gourds are dusted off and displayed proudly. Skeletons are brought out of hiding and displayed in yards. Shorts are put in storage. Everyone’s favorite sweater makes a reappearance. Pumpkin spice reigns omnipotent.

team cooks and chefs preparing meals

When I think about the early holiday season, I always think about spooky words. The kind of words you avoid using in cordial conversation because of the reaction they create. Words like lurking, specter, occult and audit.

Confused? Do you feel like one of those words just doesn’t fit? From personal experience, I know the word “audit” elicits the most fear.

Do you ever wish you had more time? Time to read the label on every ingredient you use? Time to revise and make every policy you or a predecessor has written airtight? Time to develop a smarter way of serving students? Time to plan a remodel? These are all things an audit can help you create time for.

It’s natural to be uneasy about allowing someone into your operation; one whose entire goal is to uncover the skeletons and find every trace of (allergen) dust. But face it, there isn’t a single person in this world who hasn’t needed help at some point in their life. Help is the hardest thing to ask for, but assistance and verification can be incredibly rewarding.

Yes, we do need to see all of your policies. Yes, we do need to review every ingredient you use. Yes, we do need to look at every inch of your facility. These are all things we know you want to do yourself, if only you had the time. How much more time would you have if someone helped you focus your goals and sort your priorities?

What happens when you’ve worked so hard to create a peanut safe facility, but someone walks in with trail mix or a PB&J? How do you keep students from mixing utensils up on a salad bar? How do you determine if a product is safe to use? How do you prepare food for a student with multiple severe food allergies?

We understand that there are always uncontrollable factors in foodservice. The answer to all of these questions is simple. Let’s start a conversation. Let’s discuss the most effective solution together. Let’s work together to create nurturing environments where no one has to feel excluded.