May is Celiac Awareness Month, the perfect time to take a deep dive into the extensive allergy protocols we have in place at Red Heat Tavern! Because our founder, Kevin Harron, has celiac disease, gluten-free dining has been part of our service DNA since the very beginning. The care and attention to detail required to safely serve guests with gluten intolerance is trained into every staff member from their first day on the job.Though celiac disease is not an allergy, ingesting any trace of gluten can cause acute symptoms; avoiding cross-contamination is as important for celiacs as it is for those with severe food allergies. That’s why an extensive set of allergy-focused checks and balances kicks off every time a gluten-free guest walks through our doors:
- During table greets, our servers are trained to ask everyone at the table for any food allergies or dietary restrictions. When we do have gluten-free/allergy guests, management is immediately informed.
- Your server manually writes down your restrictions and order on a purple card that is then passed to the manager in control of the kitchen at that moment.
- Our cooks are trained to wash their hands and change gloves before starting any allergy meal. We have multiple sets of purple cutting boards, chef knives, and utensils set aside in the kitchen to prepare your food. Those items are only used for your meal before being washed and sanitized for the next guest.
- We even take extra precautions when we prepare bulk foods in the morning. Our staff uses color-coded equipment to avoid any chance of cross-contamination, and they're required to wash and sanitize their work area between each prep item.
- We take all nine major allergens into consideration when we plan our menu items. We have three separate fryers, two of which are always dedicated gluten-free. We use multiple pots of water for pasta to avoid cross-contamination. We don't allow gluten or dairy to touch our charbroiler. The list goes on.
- As the kitchen plates the food, there is always a manager present to ask all the confirming questions regarding your restrictions before allowing that plate to leave the kitchen. All gluten-free/allergy food is served on red plates to avoid any confusion as the food is run to your table. Allergy plates must be delivered to the table by a manager or one of our certified allergy specialists.
As these steps indicate, we take every guest’s dietary needs seriously. We are proud to go above and beyond to make sure you have a delicious, worry-free meal every time you visit us. If that makes you happy, stop by during Celiac Awareness Month to celebrate gluten-free dining with your favorite Red Heat dish!