Food Allergies

Cross-Contamination, Cross-Contact, & Food Safety at Your Event

Cross-contamination is a commonly understood concept. It occurs when bacteria or viruses contaminate food. It can occur during preparation and storage. Often, proper cooking will reduce or eliminate the contamination, so foodborne illness is less of a risk. Occasionally, people forget what they are doing and put their newly cooked hamburger patties on the same plate they used to hold the patties when they were raw. This just reintroduces the contamination. Luckily, professional kitchen staff are trained in the proper handling of food and risk is minimized. When discussing food allergies, we really need to be more aware of cross-contact.…

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Allergic Living Spring 2016 cover

Mixing Business & Allergies

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Allergic Living. Off to a convention and packing special food needs? There's much to know. Allergic Living Spring 2016 As I exited a luncheon in a hotel ballroom last fall, I saw a fellow attendee being tended to by a swarm of EMTs and convention staff. She was being treated for an anaphylactic reaction to the food she was served. She had informed the meeting planner and hotel of her serious food allergies, yet in this case, that wasn’t enough. Fortunately, after a trip to the hospital, the woman recovered…

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Reversing the Social Stigma of Dietary Restrictions

I recently read a thought-provoking article about how children with food allergies are excluded and bullied in school, as much by teachers as by other students.  The article was written by a mother of two children with life-threatening food allergies, and it reveals a number of ways in which others’ dismissal of their needs diminishes their self-worth. If a teacher brings in cupcakes for the class, not only is the child excluded, forced to watch while everyone else eats, but also, the child has to reject the offer of food, a stigmatizing act in itself. “Sometimes,” article contributor, Dr. Alvarez…

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Peaches at the market

Peaches – Summer’s Sweet Bounty

June is National Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Month. Thrive! is promoting fresh fruits and vegetables alongside the USDA to help focus attention on eating more fruits and veggies because 90% of adults and children don't include enough in their diet. The first fruit we are going to highlight this month is the fruit of my home state Georgia - the peach. HISTORY The Peach became first known in China where it got its start with the name “tao.” From China they spread to the rest of the world through the ancient silk route. The peach fruit belongs to the genus, Prunus;…

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The Real Difference Between Dietary Choices & Dietary Needs

As the controversy and, let’s face it, confusion, rages on around the world here’s an easy primer on the why’s and woes of dietary choices and dietary needs. Let’s begin with an actual disease, Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease isn’t an allergy to gluten as many people often mistake. It is an actual autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley) causes damage to the small intestine. An estimated 1 in every 100 people has celiac, worldwide and most are undiagnosed. Because this is an actual autoimmune disorder, a diagnosis will ensure opportunity for…

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Food Allergy Action Month

May is Food Allergy Action Month: Quick & Easy Ways to Celebrate

It’s Food Allergy Action Month: Learn the Facts to be Prepared Right now it’s peak season for allergies and that includes food allergies. While the prevalence, severity, and impact of food allergies as well as the current understanding of food allergies in diagnostics, treatments, prevention and public policy are being studied, it’s important that a broad awareness be built – allergies are potentially life threatening and there is no known cure. Thrive! Meetings & Events is helping to create public awareness out of the commitment to serve individuals, families, and communities affected by the disease, but most importantly to also help inform…

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Brazil Eventos & Transparency

As an international speaker and Food & Beverage expert, I’ve found at least one universal truth – allergies are present in all countries and, therefore, a place must be set at the table for attendee safety and trust. I speak on a number of topics when I travel, including legislation and legality of meetings, efficient food and beverage budgeting, custom eater menu planning, and more. Next week I’ll be in Brazil discussing important food trends from around the world and how to seamlessly incorporate these exciting trends into your meetings and events for an experience your attendees will devour. I’ve…

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Kids Summer Cooking Camp

Kids Summer Cooking Camp (Ages 10+) Among her many talents, Tracy Stuckrath is teaching summer cooking camps. She is available by request for private lessons, adult cooking classes, and customized group courses. These summer classes, however, are all about the kids. Slow Food: Sourcing & Cooking Locally Kids will learn to make real food, using real ingredients! The farm will be coming to us once again this summer as many local farms and producers including Moore Farm & Friends, Banner Butter, Many Fold Farm Cheeses, Riverview Farms, and White Oak Pastures provide farm fresh ingredients for each day of camp.…

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Valentine’s Day Reminders for Sweet Success

Valentine’s is right around the corner and while loved ones are fervently planning the perfect evening, you are assembling the team that will make it happen. But are food allergies and dietary restrictions being planned into your event? Here are just a few reminders to help make the evening a sweet success. Allergens Let’s face it, anaphylaxis isn’t sexy. Keeping an epinephrine auto-injector may or may not be an option in your state. It’s a life saving tool, so if it is available add it to your emergency kit along with at least one staff member trained in how to…

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New Jersey Governor Christie signs Epinephrine Access and Emergency Treatment Act

New Jersey Announces that Stock Epinephrine Bill is Now Law

New Jersey Governor signs into law “Epinephrine Access and Emergency Treatment Act” In December 2015 you may have read in the Thrive! blog that the New Jersey state Senate had unanimously approved legislation that would create a training program for anyone who wishes to administer EpiPens, especially coaches, teachers, and other professionals in a public environment. The legislation was written broadly enough to include restaurant, hotel, and convention workers. The New Jersey legislation, Bill A-4094/S-2884, titled, “Epinephrine Access and Emergency Treatment Act,” had been awaiting Governor Christie’s signature until Monday, January 11th, when it was signed into law. Epinephrine is a controlled substance and…

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