ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As many as 15 million Americans suffer from a food allergy. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has introduced this fall a new line of allergy-friendly dining initiatives for guests at its 10 parks including SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Sesame Place. These initiatives range from personalized service to new menu options.
"We serve millions of guests each year and are committed to provide each a great experience. For families with allergen concerns, we understand how challenging it can be to safely dine out, especially while on vacation," said Jim Atchison, President and Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. "Our new initiatives 'serve up' a family experience that everyone can enjoy."
The company partnered with the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN™) to educate and train more than 6,000 culinary employees to assist guests with allergen needs. With more than 22,000 members worldwide, FAAN is a trusted source of information, programs, and resources related to food allergy and anaphylaxis.
The new initiatives include:
- Increased personal attention to ensure the safety of each meal. Park restaurant managers and supervisors will work one-on-one with guests and oversee the preparation of each allergen-friendly meal from start to finish. "Chef Cards," filled out in advance by guests to outline the foods to avoid, are handed to a chef before the preparation of the meal.
- All park restaurants are equipped and trained to take care of guests with allergen needs.
- More menu options, ranging from gluten-free pizza to an allergen-friendly Shamu-shaped chocolate bar, enhance the experience for dining guests. For those on the go, the parks also provide prepackaged snacks such as cookies from companies that specialize in allergen-friendly foods including Divvies and Gluten Free to Go.
- To help guests plan, detailed information on allergen-friendly services and helpful safety tips can be found online at each park's web site. Guests can also download the Chef Cards and fill it out prior to their visit. At the parks, in-park educational handouts are available.
"We commend SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment for implementing a comprehensive food allergy training program, which we were pleased to help carry out," said John Lehr, FAAN's Chief Executive Officer. "Families often exhaustively research vacation options that will keep their loved ones with food allergies safe. SeaWorld has taken extra steps to educate its employees about the risks that families managing food allergies face on a daily basis."
For more information on the parks' allergen-free efforts visit www.seaworld.com, www.buschgardens.com and www.sesameplace.com. For additional resources about food allergies from FAAN, visit www.foodallergy.org.
About SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment inspires people to celebrate, connect, and care for the natural world through the power of entertainment. The company owns and operates 10 parks across the United States. The parks play host to 24 million guests a year and provide lasting memories through up-close animal encounters, world-class shows and rides, and high-quality themed attractions. Locations include SeaWorld parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio; Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Fla. and Williamsburg, Va.; Discovery Cove and Aquatica in Orlando; Sesame Place near Philadelphia, Pa.; and water parks Adventure Island in Tampa and Water Country USA in Williamsburg.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment employs 20,000 people nationwide and is a portfolio company of The Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX).
SOURCE SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment