Extensive dining options help feed the fun at Carnival Cruise Line, and as anyone with food allergies knows, having a variety of healthy choices is more than just enjoyable – but also important to safety. That’s why Carnival is now introducing the Menu Mate™ food ingredient program fleetwide to accommodate guests with special diets more efficiently than ever.

“Making sure everyone is included in the fun and has the best experience possible is extremely important to us,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We are always looking for new ways to help our crew enhance our guests’ experiences, and that’s exactly what this new program is doing on our ships for those with food allergies.”

Easily operated on touch-screen tablets at food venues across the Carnival fleet, the Menu Mate food ingredient program is powered by award-winning CertiStar software to mitigate the risks of allergic reactions. The new program is the first of its kind among major cruise lines.

"I'm a lifelong cruiser, with my first time on a Carnival cruise as a teenager, so I know firsthand how important it is to make the most of every moment with family and friends. 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," said Shandee Chernow, CEO and founder of CertiStar.

The new Menu Mate food ingredient program works simply for both guests and crew. Staff will ask guests about food allergies and enter any restrictions into the program. The software will then sort through all available options and display 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 designated tablet themselves to enter in their own allergy/dietary information and then order from the options curated to meet their needs.

The program eliminates the lengthy process of conferring between guests, wait 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 hear about one guest’s recent experience ordering onboard meals with the help of a Menu Mate tablet, click here.

To ensure the program’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. To use the program directly and research allergen friendly options on their own, guests will be able to find a Menu Mate tablet on display near the Lido buffet stations as well.

For additional information on Carnival Cruise Line and to book a cruise vacation, call 1-800-CARNIVAL, visit www.carnival.com, or contact your favorite travel advisor or online travel site.