Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cracker Barrel

Recently, my parents asked if we wanted to go to Cracker Barrel and they would treat us. Obviously, I wanted to go for a free meal, but I was hesitant because I thought there would be nothing for Brody to eat and he is at the point now that he sees us eating and wants what we have, so I didn't think that would be fair.

I decided to call and ask to speak to the manager. I figured at least bacon or sausage could be safe and I could bring him other food to supplement (This way, he could have something that we were eating). I explained the food allergy situation to the manger and he was extremely helpful. He told me that the meat is cooked on a separate grill from the eggs, etc. That sounded good to me, but then I thought, "What if someone ordered a cheeseburger and some of the cheese dripped onto the grill, etc.?" I know, I am thinking in extremes, but I want to be cautious. I expressed my concern to him about this remote possibility and he told me that they could clean the grill off before cooking Brody's food. He told me to ask for him when we arrived and he would take it from there (SO NICE!).

Not only did the manger take care of us when we were there, he brought me out a list of safe options. I am such a visual person...I love hard copies of information. This is probably another reason I started this blog to cut down on all of the papers I accumulate and to be able to have them accessible in one place.

This information was updated by Cracker Barrel on 1/03/10 and it must be from a handbook and on the bottom of the page, it says Quality Assurance.

Milk Allergen

The following food can be recommended for guests who are allergic to milk

  • Breads: Sourdough Bread (regular and wheat), Westminster Crackers

  • Apple Bran Muffins

  • Eggs (fresh shell eggs only); Egg Beaters and Eggstrod'naire contain milk

  • Grilled Meats: Bacon, Ham, Sausage, Grilled Chicken Tenders, Hamburger Steak-be careful to prevent cross-contamination from pancakes and breads other than sourdough, from cheese or from butter and margarine used to grill other foods.

  • Dip Items: Meatloaf

  • Side Items: Apple Sauce, Green Beans, Pinto Beans, Turnip Greens

  • Tossed Salad, Grilled Chicken Tender Salad or Country Chef Salad (without Cheese, Egg and Croutons)

  • The Following Salad Dressings do not contain Milk: Honey French (regular & fat free), Honey Mustard (regular & fat free), Thousand Island (regular & fat free), Reduced Calorie Italian

*All fried items should be avoided due to cross-contamination from the cooking oil.

Egg Allergen

The following foods can be recommended for guests who are allergic to eggs

  • Breads: Biscuits, Sourdough Bread (regular and wheat), Westminster Crackers

  • Grilled Meats: Bacon, Ham, Sausage, Grilled Chicken Tenders, Hamburger Steak, Ribeye and Sirloin Steaks-be careful to prevent cross contamination from Pancakes and French Toast

  • Dip Items: Roast Beef and Gravy, Chicken and Dumplings, Turkey and Gravy

  • Side Items: Apple Sauce, Green Beans, Pinto Beans, Turnip Greens

  • Tossed Salad, Grilled Chicken Tender Salad or Country Chef Salad (without Egg, Cheese and Croutons)

  • The following Salad Dressings do not contain Egg: Honey French (regular & fat free), Fat Free & Reduced Calorie Italian, Fat Free Ranch, Fat Free Thousand Island

*All fried items should be avoided due to cross contamination from the cooking oil

Wheat (Glutens) Allergens
The following can be recommended for guests who are allergic to wheat
  • Eggs and Grilled Meats: Bacon, Sausage, Grilled Catfish, Grilled Chicken Tenders, Hamburger Steak, Ribeye and Sirloin Steaks-be careful to prevent cross contamination from Pancakes and French Toast
  • Side Items: Apple Sauce, Carrots, Corn, Green Beans, Pinto Beans, Turnip Greens

*All fried items should be avoided due to cross-contamination from the cooking oil.

Peanut Allergies

Cracker Barrel does not cook with peanut oil and does not add peanuts to any of our menu items. The core menu items are peanut free. Please carefully check all labels for any promotional items, weekly specials, and regional menu items.

The items that are in bold are safe for Brody (milk, eggs, peanuts and wheat) as long as there is no cross contamination.

Many of the mothers at the FAAN meeting this week also expressed that they have had a good experience at Cracker Barrel and managers have went as far as to bring out labels on items for the parents to read to ensure that it was safe for their child. It is nice to know Cracker Barrel has some safe options, especially when you are traveling. You know you are going to drive by a ton of Cracker Barrel's on your way to your destination. Just hope that you get a manager who goes out of his/her way to accommodate and make you feel comfortable about how the food is being prepared.

One more thing I will add: on the back of my paper the manager put the label for the White Sourdough Bread. I figured I would just add this information since I had it.
White Sourdough Bread: ingredients: flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, potassium bromate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin), water, sugar, corn oil, potato flakes (dehydrated potatoes, mono and diglycerides, sodium acide pyrophosphate, citric acid., A natural mixed tocopherols [a natural source of vitamin E] added to protect freshness), salt.

One more safe eating out option to add to the list!

Cracker BarrelSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


  1. do you know if they use coconut oil ???

  2. I am not sure. The only thing I can suggest is calling ahead and ask to speak to the manager (explaining the food allergies and why you are asking this questions). They would be able to find out the answer to that question for you (they have the corporate book of ingredients, etc.). I hope this helps! :)

  3. I assume the baked potato is also an allergy-free side, so long as it does not have any toppings on it, right?

  4. Hey Autumn,

    You would assume, right? This could be a great possibility for being allergen free, but I would definitely speak to the manager and make sure if you go. You would be surprised at how things are prepared me :)

  5. I am encourage to read this - from my understanding CB used peanut oil - so maybe this is a recent change? I did call the CB closest to us to check and see about the peanut oil - and was told no they did not use it. However when I asked if they provided allergen menus - this CB said no they did not. :( I will wait until they do before eating there again. But I am encouraged they are trying to take food allergies into account.

  6. Anonymous,
    You are absoultely correct, CB does not have an allerge menu, BUT if you speak to the right manager, they can print you off a copy of safe foods by using the top 8 allergens (milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish). This is some of the information that I posted. I hope this helps! It is difficult to eat out but when you find the places that work with is so nice to be able to go out once in awhile :)

  7. Thank you so much for this!!! We are moving soon and my husband likes to "navigate by cracker barrel" across the country. Our oldest (2 and a half) is extremely allergic to milk, eggs and all nuts. I have to always have an epi-pen. We only eat out at Famous Dave's because the barbeque and sauces are safe for her. Thank you for doing this analysis of Cracker Barrel. I will be using it as a guide and asking all the managers as we traverse the country during our move!

  8. Adrienne, hope your move goes well. You are welcome...I love being able to make dealing with food allergies easier (as I know it is sometimes challenging...especially trying to eat out). We carry our epi-pen too...never leave home without it :)

  9. I just discovered your website, I have been trying to clean up the diet of my family though taking out specific allergens and switching to organic whenever i can. I love your blog and your diligence in ensuring what your family is really eating.

  10. Thanks Stephanie. We have been on this journey for a little while now and it's funny how I look back at old blog posts and we have even changed the way we eat since then. What a journey! That is awesome that you are choosing to feed your family healthier. Food really is medicine!!!

  11. Is the french toast dipped in milk and eggs or just eggs?

  12. I don't see the french toast on either the safe list for someone with egg allergies or on the safe list for someone with milk allergies, so I am assuming that it is dipped in both.

  13. This information is still accurate on 12/27/11. I just ate at a cracker barrel in Alabama and the manger came out with the identical list allergens

  14. Thanks for the info! My oldest son (5) has the same major allergies (milk, eggs, peanuts and wheat) plus a few other minor ones. I was just trying to find info to eat out while vacationing, and your information was exactly what we needed! Your story is so familiar, and it's definitely comforting to hear stories from others that walk the same road we do. Blessings! -shelby

  15. Great info -- thank you! Unfortunately, hubby cannot have corn for now, and I'm not sure how helpful CB can be with that ... corn seems to hide in so many things (including the sourdough bread -- so glad you listed the label ingredients!)

  16. I emailed CB from their website, and someone replied within a few days with a list based on my specific concerns (dairy and corn). It's a short list, for sure, but at least we came up with a few options. Oh, and the list the CB food safety person sent included an ingredient list for each DF/CF option, which allowed me to watch for other minor reactive ingredients. Very helpful.

  17. My daughter developed a treenut allergy at 4 years old. So this is an adjustment for us since before we were fine (she'd even had nuts before and never reacted).
    I will point out that Cracker Barrel does make pecan pancakes on the same grill as plain or other flavored pancakes. They said they could 'try' to scape the grill but no guarantee. Thanks for all your info, it was very helpful in my search to figure out if she could eat there.


Related Posts with Thumbnails