Food Allergies

The FDA’s Renewed Interest in Identifying Sesame as a Top Allergen

  The meetings industry has come a long way in understanding the importance of identifying allergens at group meals. Labeling buffet items and identifying ingredients in menus is pretty much standard procedure for hotels and caterers. In the consumer sector, this progress started in 2004 with the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. The legislation required manufacturers to identify if their prepackaged foods contained one of the eight major allergens in the U.S. – milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, wheat, soybeans and tree nuts. At the time, these accounted for 90 percent of U.S. allergens. Eleven years later, a…

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Going Vegan – A Wicked Healthy Choice

  As we end this series on vegan education, I am excited to share insight from chef and plant-based educator, Chad Sarno. Along with brother Derek, Chad brought forth his Boston roots and created the concept of “Wicked Healthy” culinary arts: 80 percent healthy eating combined with an allowable 20 percent of wickedness. The healthy part is rooted in vegetables, and Chad sees the Veganuary movement as a solid introduction to eating plant-based. “Veganuary has been a kick-start for a lot of people who want a step-by-step program to go vegan,” Chad says. “It’s really been a huge catalyst for…

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Food-labels-law-thrive!-iStock-517971284

Food Labels: Meaning, Safety, and Duty of Care (Part One)

Food labeling is a growing concern for millions on a global level. It tells us the nutritional content, ingredients that may be harmful, like allergens, and other important info such as whether an item is halal, kosher, or heart healthy. Consumers are also increasingly confused by value-added labels, such as non-GMO, organic, and free-range. Food label laws are barely keeping up with consumer’s needs, but here’s what you need to know when it comes to dietary restrictions.  At thrive! it’s important consumers and professionals both understand what these labels mean, but the meetings and events industry, HR professionals, caterers, and…

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An Apple a Day...Is Not for Everyone

An Apple Day…Is Not for Everyone

How One Meeting Eliminated Apple to Create a Safe Space for a Food-Allergic Attendee Last month I met a woman with an apple allergy. Yes, an apple allergy. I’m sure some of you can’t believe it, but it’s a real thing, and it can be fatal. While I’ve known others with an apple allergy, Leticia’s is the most severe I’ve encountered. As she explained in her registration form, she is “highly, deathly allergic” to apples, “both ingested and inhaled from others eating nearby.” This was vital information to know about her, since I was analyzing and coding catering menus to…

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Legal Implications

Lessons for Human Resources Professionals: Legal Implications – Part Four

If you’ve been enjoying this series, make sure you are up to date on all previous installments: Lessons for Human Resources Professionals: The Care and Feeding of Employees – Part One » Lessons for Human Resources Professionals: Health and Wellness Programs – Part Two » Lessons for Human Resources Professionals: Supporting Employees Dietary Needs – Part Three » Legal Implications Any good human resources professional understands that fostering a safe and inclusive workplace is good business—but in some cases, it is also the law. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prevents discrimination on the basis of a disability in programs and…

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Feeding Employees at Work

Feeding Employees at Work: A Lesson for Food Allergy & Celiac Disease Awareness

Feeding Employees at Work: An Opportunity to Enhance Well-being As a meeting planner, I have a duty of care to ensure that the food I order for an event is delicious and safe for all participants. Every good meeting planner, CEO, and human resources professional understands that fostering a safe and inclusive workplace is good business—but in some cases, it is also the law. And, if you didn’t know it before, the law includes food and beverage served in the workplace. Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) estimates that 15 million Americans (5 percent of the U.S.) have food allergies,…

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Jack O' Lantern on the Halloween party

Halloween: Keep Your Custom Eaters Safe from Forbidden Foods, Not Just Pesky Ghouls

Five Ideas for Frightfully Festive Cocktail Hour Fare Halloween parties are a fun opportunity to get creative while maintaining that special balance between making everything look creepy and delicious at the same time. It’s almost an art form and the catering craft has certainly seen its share of epic wins and brutal scares. One thing that shouldn’t be scary on Halloween is knowing whether the food is safe to eat. Anyone with food allergies can attest to the difficulties inherent in eating at parties. Add to that the additional vigilance needed when meals are disguised for a theme and it…

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Global Handwashing Day – It’s a Lifesaver

This month is packed with food related hashtag days, recognition days, and awareness days. What month isn’t, right? But this month, in particular, has a few I want to recognize. I have a few articles coming your way to help us celebrate, but this Saturday, October 15th, I am recognizing Global Handwashing Day. Now, Global Handwashing Day may not be the most glamorous sounding event, but when you stop to understand and think about it, we’re marking a day of awareness that helps to save lives! That’s right, washing hands with soap saves lives. The homepage for Global Handwashing Day…

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