What does it mean to be “Certified Free-From™” by Kitchens with Confidence?
Upon successful completion of an audit, Kitchens with Confidence will certify your facility “free from” Gluten, Peanuts, Tree nuts, Eggs, Fish, Shellfish, Soy, Milk, and Wheat – based on the program you select. As part of the audit, we review your ingredients and products and add confidence that your staff has the tools to monitor, identify, and control allergens and gluten within your menu and ingredient lists. “Certified Free From” certifies that the kitchen procedures and menu items of certified facilities meet KWC’s CFF standards. Due to variables out of the kitchen control once food is passed the serving line there is no guarantee that it will remain free from allergens and gluten.
Does Kitchens with Confidence check products used as ingredients and how often?
Kitchens with Confidence (KwC) conducts a comprehensive review of all ingredients and products for allergens prior to granting certification. Additionally, any products/ingredients that are added to the facility after initial audit must be submitted and approved by KwC as they will be checked to not include any of the allergens or gluten the facility is “Certified Free-From™”.
Do the KwC facilities test their finished products?
You bet! In order to maintain any certification Kitchens with Confidence, all clients that are “Certified Free From™” allergens and/or gluten must test their facility and/or products for each allergen and gluten at a minimum of once a month and provide proof of those tests to Kitchens with Confidence.
Why test for allergens and gluten?
- Verify and validate allergen and/or gluten control programs
- Support certification by confirming food is maintaining “Free-From”
- Ensure allergen food safety
- Added value for our diners
What are Kitchens with Confidence’s recommended testing methods?
- Immunochemical methods are the most specific and sensitive tests for continuous allergen monitoring
- Lateral flow devices (LFD)
- Easy to use, rapid results, and affordable
- Comprehensive testing of equipment/surfaces, raw ingredients, and finished products
- Require validation to ensure that the test will be positive in the true presence of the allergen
- Kitchens with Confidence™ considers LFD testing paired with visual inspection of cleanliness to be a reasonable approach for monitoring allergen residues as part of a valid and verified allergen control program.
- NIMA sensors for gluten and peanuts
- Antibody-based chemistry specific for protein detection of gluten and peanuts
- Devices are portable and easy to use
What test kits does Kitchens with Confidence recommend to use to meet testing compliance?
We recommend the following testing kits:
(In alphabetical order)
- Biomedal Diagnostics’s GlutenTox Pro (Gluten)
- EZ Gluten™ (Gluten)
- Neogen Lab’s Reveal 3D (Egg, Crustacea, Gluten, Peanut, Soy, Total Milk, Tree Nuts)
- NIMA Sensor (Gluten and Peanut)
- Romer Lab’s AgraStrip® (Crustacea, Egg, Gluten, Milk, Peanut, Soy)
What is Kitchens with Confidences policy on Gluten Free?
Kitchens with Confidence takes its lead from the FDA:
According to the FDA, foods may be labeled “gluten-free” if the food is either inherently gluten free or does not contain an ingredient that is a gluten-containing grain such as barley or spelt wheat; derived from a gluten-containing grain that has not been processed to remove gluten, such as wheat flour; or derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten, such as wheat starch if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food. Also, any unavoidable presence of gluten in the food must be less than 20 ppm. KwC requires all clients that are certified gluten-free to adhere to the definition of gluten-free set forth by the FDA and food cannot contain more than 20ppm.
I have a dedicated space and have successfully completed an audit through Kitchens with Confidence. How can I display my efforts?
A certified establishment or space will be provided with the audit report as well as a certificate of audit, which will display the name of the establishment, the area certified, the KwC certification seal, and the certified free from logo. The logo will depict the allergens that the facility has been found to be free from. The facility should proudly display their certificate of accomplishment in or near the area that has been certified.
Is a Kitchens with Confidence audit similar to a health inspection audit?
Some aspects of the audit itself are similar, however, Kitchens with Confidence audits and services are voluntary while health inspections are mandatory. A KwC audit is encouraged for any establishment that feels they have gone above and beyond when catering to guests with allergens, any establishment that seeks verification of their current efforts, or any establishment that requires additional assistance in fine-tuning their allergen protocol.
The word audit is pretty threatening to a food service establishment. How do you view your services?
Kitchens with Confidence is as much an advocate for their foodservice clients as they are for the diner with special dietary needs. KwC strongly views itself as a partner, and not the iron fist, of the food service industry. Each audit we perform is done with the goal to create winners, not losers. Our intention is always to promote success while providing opportunities for improvement.
Can I receive a Kitchens with Confidence Seal of Audit and Certified Free from Logo if I do not have a dedicated space?
No. The Kitchens with Confidence Seal and Certified Free from Logo will only be granted to establishments that have a dedicated facility or space as these images dictate that allergens are not in the immediate area. However, an establishment that uses a shared space for allergen-free and allergen-containing food prep and storage can still receive an audit, report, and consulting services to back up their efforts.
What is the cost of a Kitchens with Confidence certified free from audit or KwC consulting services?
Costs are dependent upon services provided starting at $2999 for review with travel expenses billed separately. Contact us at info@MenuTrinfo.com for more information.
How long does certification last?
Establishments who wish to maintain their accredited status with Kitchens with Confidence must be audited and certified on an annual basis.