to keep going and share her research with others.
That was in 2008, when she planned to use the
training she created only at her own restaurant,
The Starlite Resort in Roslyn, Washington.
That’s how Spot Check was born. Bolgen’s
company, with offices in Ellensburg and Seattle,
National Institutes of Health,
30 percent of the population
believes they have a food
allergy, but many of those
people have intolerances
or sensitivities to
foods, not full-blown allergies.
Either way, when they eat the food in question,
they don’t feel good.
Spot Check’s training also targets those folks.
And it’s not just for restaurants.
In the hundreds of trainings that the company
has done, they’ve educated restaurant bloggers,
moms starting daycares, camp counselors, chefs on
nuclear submarines, outfitters and in-home caregiv-ers, in addition to food handlers in hospitals, schools,
universities, assisted-living facilities and bakeries.
“I met Lynn when food allergies were becoming more front of line in both the media and the
restaurant community,” says Lyle Hildahl, director
of education for the Washington State Restaurant
Association (WSRA). “She asked me if I’d be interested in her training, so I signed up for it and loved
what it covered. At WSRA we adopted Spot Check
as our allergy-safe certification for the person in
charge of their restaurant. On a personal level, my
wife has food allergies to shellfish and corn. We
found out just what products had corn in them,
and we know to avoid them. My wife is now
healthier and feels better.”
“Not knowing how to prepare foods correctly
for those with allergens harms those people, and
it is totally preventable,” says Bolgen. “Educating
the food handlers is the only way to stop allergy-reaction outbreaks and save lives.” C
Freelance writer and Costco member Heather
Larson writes about health and lifestyle.
COSTCO MEMBER LYNN Bolgen
has suggestions for those who
need to avoid certain foods.
Declare your allergy.
You can even have fun with it by
telling your server that if you end
up on the floor, the rest of their
customers may get a bit edgy.
Look at the server or
chef when talking about
your allergy. Determine by
their body language if they’ve
accepted what you said.
Be specific. Tell them how you
need your food prepared.
Use common sense. If you
need to have an order specially
made, don’t go to a restaurant at
its busiest time. Also, if you have a
peanut allergy, stay away from Thai
eateries, where almost everything
is made with peanut sauce.—HL
PROTECTING THOSE WITH ALLERGIES
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33
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