Allergies matter!

Allergy icons blogMore than 20% of Smart Lunches parents told us in a recent survey that you have a family member with a food allergy. That fits with what happens when I tell a new parent about our wonderful menu, and I hear a slight hesitation before she answers: “Ooh, sounds great — but I’m not sure it would work for our family.” That usually means that a food allergy.

We don’t know why food allergies have become so prevalent — but we feel your pain, and we wouldn’t have a useful service without addressing this. How we’ve made our service allergy-friendly:

  • Lots of choices! We start our allergy-friendly approach by making sure we have lots of options to choose from every day.
  • Full ingredients for all menu options: When you’re ordering, we show what’s in everything we offer.
  • Clearly marked allergy indicators, so you can quickly spot what’s safe.
  • High standard for ‘gluten-free’: Celiacs can’t risk any gluten — while some people just want to avoid or limit their gluten intake. Because some foods assumed to be gluten-free, such as deli-style turkey, can contain trace amounts, for those we use our “gluten-sensitive” label (the wheat with the dotted line above) so you can decide where your standard is.
  • Auto-filtering of menu items with allergens: If you turn on filtering for your luncher, anything you tell us to avoid will never even show up as an option in the menu!
  • Allergy codes on meal labels: The labels our food providers now place on our meals clearly show the luncher allergies you’ve told us about, just to help school staff to keep an eye out.
  • Allergen Awareness trained Smart Lunchers and partners: Here at Global HQ we’re trained in ServSafe, which covers general food safety, as well as certified in Allergy Awareness, just as our food providers are, too.

Can you think of something else we could do to make our service even better for lunchers with food allergies? We’re all ears.

7 thoughts on “Allergies matter!

  1. Are your gluten free meal options prepared in a dedicated facility or is there a possibility that cross-contamination can occur? Can you speak more about the ingredients and preparation?

    1. Hi, Rebecca — thanks for the question. Our GF meals are prepared in the same facilities as all our other meals. All our providers are trained and certified in prevention of cross-contamination. What else would you like to know about ingredients and preparation? Happy to share further, let me know. — Emily

  2. Thanks for your post. Like you said above a good way to be aware of what they can eat is by marking the food items. Having some sort of marking will help you from grabbing a food that may be harmful to you. Thanks again for the post!

  3. Hi,
    Our school is a nut free school. Does that mean that ALL your lunch offerings for students at that school would be Nut Free by default? Ideally, there should be no options containing nuts or possible cross contaminated for a given school. Please clarify. Also, can you provide testimonials or contact info for parents of children with food allergies?

    Thanks,
    Lily

    1. Hi, Lily. All our menus are free of peanuts and treenuts. There are no options in any menu for any school that include nuts.

      What school do your children attend? We can put you in touch with other parents at the same school, or at a nearby school.

      Looking forward to having you as part of the Smart Lunches family!
      Best
      Emily

  4. I’m finding that list of ingredients is a bit lacking. My son has multiple allergies. When you just list Whole Wheat Bun, that is not acceptable. My son has a Soy and Corn allergy. Many bread products are made with soy and corn syrup.

    1. Hi Sierra,

      Thanks for stopping in and checking out our blog! While at this time we don’t track soy or corn, we are working to expand the ingredient lists and identify more allergens. We appreciate your insight on this, so we can start to address more allergies. Right now, our allergy filters include gluten-free and gluten sensitivities, egg-free, dairy-free and dairy optional, and all of our meals are tree nut free. As we expand our allergy filters, we will try to add in soy and corn allergy filters.

      Thanks again for your comment! We’re always looking to improve.

      All the best,
      Kate

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