ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — If you have a nut allergy, going to a restaurant might be a concern. Some national chains have moved in the nut-free direction.
Now Carrol’s Creek Cafe in Annapolis has been certified nut free.
“My son Brady is probably the inspiration for all of this,” Jeff Jacobs, Carrol’s Creek owner, said. “He is highly allergic to tree nuts, sesame and was allergic to peanuts. So when we go out to dinner it’s very difficult for him to just walk into a restaurant and know that the food will be safe for him.”
After months of planning, researching, training and testing, the restaurant’s kitchen and menu recently passed the rigorous inspection process required to achieve the coveted nut free certification.
“It just wasn’t a long stretch to turn the restaurant into being nut free,” Jacobs said. “To be safe for those type of customers which we all know is a growing number of the population who have these allergies. It turned out to be a little harder than just not ordering nuts for the restaurant, but there were challenges we were able to overcome.”
A food safety diagnostic kit is used to swab different areas of the kitchen.
“With this, we have to test the restaurant once a month with swabs in various places in the restaurant to make sure there is no cross contamination,” Richard McClure, General Manager of Carrol’s Creek Cafe, said. “We test for both peanuts and tree nuts.”
Nut-free ice cream is now shipped to the restaurant from A La Mode Ice Cream in New York City. It’s also sold by the pint.
Carrol’s Creek said the response to its nut-free certification has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We’ve received emails and phone calls with great support,” Jacobs said. “They’re ecstatic they can walk into a place without having to talk to the chef and order whatever they want on the menu and know there isn’t going to be an issue.”
Carrol’s Creek Cafe is an icon of the Annapolis restaurant scene, and famous for its outdoor dining. It’s been open 35 years, and employes about one hundred people.