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Manhattan restaurant proactive on food allergens

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

From the St. Louis spare to a rack of beef, ribs are the specialty for Chef Eddie Montalvo at Blue Smoke Restaurant in the Flat Iron District of Manhattan. While the ribs are smoked for flavor, they are cooked gluten- and nut-free. The restaurant pays special attention to food allergies.

Sloan Miller, president of Allergic Girl Resources, says 15 million Americans have a diagnosed food allergy. Eight foods typically set off reactions: peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, dairy, egg, and soy -- items you can find on most menus. That is one reason Blue Smoke keeps a cheat sheet in its kitchen to help staff identify any problems and avoid cross-contamination. The menus also have special icons labeling what's nut- and gluten-free.

Labeling of food allergens on restaurant menus is not an issue not regulated by the government, but some restaurants are taking action. Blue Smoke manager Mark Maynard Parisi says more and more restaurants are adapting on their own.

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