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According to the World Allergy Organization, 250 million people have life threatening food allergies, worldwide. Forty-seven percent (47%) of those people manage multiple food allergies daily. 

Food is not just found in the kitchen or at lunch, but also in products like soap, dish detergent, and often time is used in science experiments and toys like playdough. Allergies can extend to things commonly used like Latex as well. 

Because allergens are everywhere, it is critical that we are well equipped to handle these situations because it could happen to anyone, anywhere, at anytime without any notice. Food Allergies are an immune system disease that can be deadly. There is currently no cure. 

There are 170+ known foods known to cause an allergic reaction. While not all are fatal, allergies and intolerance can cause medical illnesses that last for weeks. Managing a kitchen can be chaotic, especially the number of ingredients that we use without fully thinking about food allergen management. Over 90% of the food industry is not properly trained on food allergen management and as a result. Every 3 minutes someone goes to the emergency room due to an allergic reaction. It could happen to anyone, anywhere, at anytime. 


  • Training: 20% of Staff Members must be trained & pass certification test on food allergies – must be combination of FOH and BOH employees

  • Policy: Facility must have a food allergy policy & procedures manual printed 

    • Staff must be trained on food allergy policy & procedures 

    • Ingredient List: Printed and/or electronic ingredient list must be accessible to consumers and staff at all times for all menu items

      • Must list entire menu + all ingredients in plain English


  • Site Visit: Each Facility must participate in at least 1 site visit per year and be willing to accommodate spot checks yearly (up to 4) 


  • Staff: 

    • At least (1) Manager (BOH or FOH) must be onsite during guest service times who has been trained and certified in Food Allergen Management (at each facility). 

    • Servers/Staff Members must be able to demonstrate proper knowledge, care, and procedures of safe allergen management to guest


  • Signage:  3 Signs (min) must be posted in facility about Food Allergies (Menus, Posters, Welcome Signs) 


  • Marketing: 

    • Facility must have social media & website 

    • Facility must display “IFAMA Approved Partner” 


  • Dedicated Menu: 5 menu items (minimum) must be free of at least 4 common allergens or be able to be made without allergens and carry flavor profile (i.e. Soy, Dairy, Peanut, Fish Free Menu) 


  • Kitchen Organization: 

    • 1 dedicated kit (minimum) for allergen free meal prep be kept/used in kitchen

    • Employees able to demonstrate safe storage & cleaning practices for Allergen Free Meals


  • Food Testing: Must participate in random food testing- Small Sample meals provided for test kit. 

Apply to become an AllerSmart Approved Facility
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$50 application fee

$$25 per menu item

$500 annual fee

IFAMA Certification includes inspections of facilities, documentation review, employee testing, food testing, annual inspection reports, reported findings & grades on various public websites, a directory listing within the food allergy community as an Approved Food Allergen Management certified facility.

If certification is not passed, IFAMA inspector will provide a report with recommended solution fixes and provide (1) re-evaluation of facility if violations are resolved within 30 business days. 

Certification costs above do not include, training, consulting, reorganization, written manuals, or signage. An IFAMA approved consultant can be hired at an additional cost. 


The Food Allergic community is powerful. When someone has a food allergy they rule the decision making process when it comes to where to eat. Research shows that restaurants that are qualified to say “Food Allergen Aware” or “Food Allergy friendly” are more likely to increase revenue by as much as 20%. Repeat business, guest satisfaction and overall business ratings also improve. Having a well trained staff both in the front and back of the house are essential to making your program successful.With over 425+ Million people worldwide, if you are in the hospitality business, catering to guest to  have a special dietary need is imperative. Having an Approved IFAMA facility is an honor and a privilege that not every establishment can obtain.