May 22, 2024

Tech supports allergy angst on Carnival

Carnival Corporation has launched a new piece of technology designed to help passengers make food choices that support their dietary needs and allergies.

Menu Mate is a new food ingredient tool displayed on touch-screen tablets at each ship’s food venues and is said to be the first of its kind among major cruise lines. The system uses CertiStar software to ‘mitigate the risks of allergic reactions’.

The food ingredient programme is designed to work simply for both guests and crew. Staff ask guests about food allergies and enter any restrictions into the programme. The software then sorts through all available options and displays which items are allergen-friendly, which options can be modified to exclude allergens, and which selections should be avoided. If preferred, guests can also use the Menu Mate tablet themselves to enter in their own allergy/dietary information and then order from the options curated to meet their needs.

CEO and founder of Certistar , Shandee Chernow, said: “I’m a lifelong cruiser and as someone with food allergies, I don’t want to waste time deliberating over what I can eat, so I’m especially excited to help share this effort with my fellow cruise lovers.”

The programme eliminates the process of conferring between guests, waiting staff and chefs over the ingredients of menu items and possible substitutions. Now that the process of selecting items with allergen- friendly ingredients is simplified, it is also no longer necessary for guests to inform Carnival of food allergies in advance of their cruise.

To ensure the programme’s efficiency, Carnival culinary staff studied recipes across the line and worked to capture any potential allergen conflicts by inputting accurate ingredient information into the CertiStar software.