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    Free Online Food Allergy Training Program Launched

    Created by the Culinary Institute of America and the National Peanut Board, the service encourages foodservice operators to deal with this increasingly important issue.

    With more consumers than ever suffering from food allergies, foodservice professionals have to figure out how to prepare meals for customers with dietary limitations, while continuing to serve foods that please everyone, allergic or not. To help the industry cope with this pressing issue, the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), with assistance from the National Peanut Board, has developed a new educational program, Food Allergies: Challenges and Opportunities for Food Service.

    The Internet-based program offers such features as informative text, video interviews and allergy-free recipe ideas to help foodservice operators formulate strategies for meeting customers' needs, without unnecessarily eliminating foods with potential allergens from their menus.

    "Food Allergies: Challenges and Opportunities for Food Service is an indispensable tool for businesses eager to meet the needs of their customers with food allergies," said Greg Drescher, executive director of strategic initiatives at Hyde Park, N.Y.-based CIA. "We appreciate the leadership role that the National Peanut Board has taken in helping the foodservice industry deal with a very challenging issue."

    The program additionally offers the latest information on food allergies, including the top eight foods known to cause 90 percent of food allergies; accurate information about the incidence of food allergies in the United States; information on food allergy reactions, including anaphylaxis; information about the most common problem areas for consumers with food allergies (e.g., salad bars, buffets, untrained staff, cross-contact); video interviews with operators describing their successful food allergy policies and procedures; video product and cooking demonstrations featuring recipe alternatives to common menu preparations, and links to download other supporting materials on food allergies.

    Food Allergies: Challenges and Opportunities for Food Service is available on the CIA's Web site for foodservice professionals, at www.ciaprochef.com/foodallergies.

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