Renowned Disney World Chef Spearheads Allergy-Friendly Restaurant Policies

Chef Joel Schaefer is a renowned food allergy advocate and the former Culinary Development and Special Dietary Needs Manager at Walt Disney World. Schaefer, who has a dairy intolerance, specializes in culinary education and product development for people with food allergies and other special diets, according to Go Dairy Free.

At Walt Disney World, he spearheaded the push for allergen-friendly kitchens that has made Disney World a favorite vacation destination among families dealing with food allergies. He pushed for company-wide policies so that all Disney restaurants share the same food allergy procedures, creating a more consistent system so that diners with food allergy concerns know what to expect. While with Disney, Chef Joel trained chefs, managers, and servers on food allergy procedures. He also sourced ingredients free of the top 8 allergens and asked for guest feedback, wanting to know which allergen-free products guests preferred.

He recently released a book titled “Serving People with Food Allergies: Kitchen Management & Menu Creation” about his experience developing allergen-friendly menus. He notes that there have been numerous recent advances within the restaurant industry in terms of accommodating diners with food allergies, including providing allergen information, implementing allergen-free menus, and avoiding cross-contamination in the kitchen.

What has been your experience dining at Disney World or other Disney restaurant locations?

More Articles

You might have wondered if small amounts of an ingredient can be added to a food product without being declared on the food’s label. The FDA...

Is it possible to eat your way to a food allergy cure? Scientists think it’s...

There are many reasons why you may want to substitute almond flour for wheat flour in recipes. Of course, if you have a...

Not all oils are created equal. Some oils are high in saturated fats or in trans-fatty acids – not good for general health. Some are partially...

It may never be safe to begin feeding peanut butter to your baby or toddler if you have peanut allergies in your family. If either parent or one...

More Articles

More Articles

What is a peanut allergy? It is a reaction that occurs in the body after eating peanuts or peanut...

For those with severe food allergies, flying can be a stressful process. Here are...

Approximately one out of 13 children under age 18 are allergic to at least one food, though many of them will outgrow their allergy by the age of...

Fact 1: Over a third of food allergy reactions happen after the first known oral...

The reason why some people are affected by allergies while others are not begins in their genes. Allergies are passed down from generation to...

Here’s a tip that might someday save your life, or that of a loved one: two to four times a year, review the proper way to use your epinephrine...

Lactose intolerance is the inability to process lactose, a sugar found in milk, caused by the lack of a needed enzyme. Those with lactose...

Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA)

An important part of peanut allergy awareness was enacted on January 1, 2006...

Tomato allergies are very rare. They are a "type 1 allergy," which means a contact allergy. When a person with this type of allergy touches a...

Milk allergies are becoming more common, especially in babies and small children. There is some confusion about what is an allergic reaction and...

Recognizing food allergy in babies or toddlers is not always easy, but there are specific risk factors and signs that parents and other caregivers...

Burlap bags are often used to store and ship coffee beans, potatoes, rice, seeds, nuts, and peanuts. They can be one of the disguised...

People with pollen allergies need to stay away from some foods. If you have allergic rhinitis in the spring or fall, you may not realize that you...

Of course, everyone knows that if you have a peanut allergy that you should avoid peanuts, peanut butter, peanut butter cookies and foods that...

Eating at a nut-free lunch table in school is a safety precaution that causes some students to feel isolated from their peers. Unfortunately,...