Imagine a beautiful night with the moon glowing as you rock ever so quietly in a rocking chair on the porch of a Cracker Barrel. You enjoy playing “the Peg Game” with your family. Then you realize the “peg game” is much harder than it looks.
Three pegs left! Wait! I’m not “just plain dumb.”
Feeling more than a little defeated by “the Peg Game”, you head inside.
You realize it’s time to get serious and look up Cracker Barrel’s allergen menu on your phone. Your loved one has a food allergy.
As you look at the allergy menu, you almost get distracted by all that Cracker Barrel merchandise. You look around and see the cutest outfit for your two-year-old. There are Halloween decorations! Okay, okay, back to Cracker Barrel’s allergen menu.
Let’s take a look at whether Cracker Barrel’s allergen menu is a barrel of laughs or a barrel of monkeys for the food allergy diner.
Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here. For further information please see full Disclaimer.
Table of Contents
The Food Allergy Advisor™Ranking System is Based on Four Major Criteria:
- The Top 9 food allergies friendliness – Does the restaurant provide several options accommodating the Top 9 food allergies?
- The overall confidence ranking for food allergy diners
- The completeness of the food allergy menu
- The intuitiveness of the food allergy menu
Each category is ranked on a scale of zero to five stars. Together, these categories are combined to provide a single overall score.
Top 9 Food Allergies Friendliness
To rank high in this category there should be a variety of selections across the Top 9 food allergens (tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy, egg, milk, shellfish, fish, and sesame). Variety should be across the menu board, from breakfast, Lunch n’ Dinner, and desserts.
Milk Allergy at Cracker Barrel
How hard is it to go dairy free at Cracker Barrel? Let’s have a look.
There is a good bit of dairy-free (milk-free) breakfast items to choose from at Cracker Barrel.
Farm Fresh Eggs, Egg Whites, bacon, smoked sausage patties, country ham, sugar cured ham, grilled chicken tenders, spicy chicken sausage, Impossible™ Sausage Made from Plants, Country Ham, Sugar Ham, US. Catfish (grilled and fried) are all listed as milk free. French toast and egg sandwiches are also listed as dairy free.
Breakfast sides like fried apples, tomato slices, coarse ground grits, fresh seasonal fruit, and multi-grain toast are all listed as dairy free.
Lunch n’ Dinner milk-free options include Tuesday Meatloaf, roast beef, grilled chicken tenders, grilled U.S. farm-raised catfish, sugar-cured ham, country ham, Lemon Pepper Grilled Trout, and Southern Fried Chicken.
Some menu items do not necessarily include milk but may pose a potential risk of cross-contact due to being in a shared frier or being prepared on a shared grill.
Pinto beans, turnip greens, whole sweet baby carrots, whole kernel corn, country green beans, fresh steamed broccoli, steak fries, breaded fried okra, cole slaw, fried apples, course ground grits, fresh seasonal fruit, and beans n’ greens are all milk or dairy-free menu items.
The Country House Salad with Grilled Chicken and the Homestyle Chicken BLT (grilled Smoky Southern Chicken Breast) are also listed as not containing milk.
The kids Grilled Chicken tenders are milk-free per the menu.
Cracker Barrel does not have any milk/dairy-free dessert choices.
Overall, there are more choices for the milk allergy diner compared to other restaurants. As always, be sure to communicate your food allergy with the restaurant manager (more on that below) and consider the risk of cross-contamination when ordering.
Egg Allergy at Cracker Barrel
Diners of Cracker Barrel with an egg allergy have a large selection.
The following breakfast menu items contain eggs: Two farm fresh eggs, egg whites, Country Fried Steak, Field Sunday Homestyle Chicken®, all pancake choices, egg n’ biscuit, and the egg sandwich.
The following Lunch n’ Dinner menu items contain egg: Tuesday Meatloaf, Thursday Turkey n‘ Dressing, Country Fried Steak, Chicken Fried Chicken, Hand-breaded Chicken Tenders, Meatloaf, Sunday Homestyle Chicken®, Sweet n’ Smoky Glazed Tenders. Anything with ranch, blue cheese, or honey mustard dressing contains eggs.
Home-cooked classics that contain eggs include Monday Maple Bacon Grilled Chicken and Chicken Pot Pie. Southern Suppers that contain eggs are Country Fried Shrimp, Bowl of Turnip Greens, and Beans n’ Greens. Sides that include eggs are the corn muffins and cole slaw.
Other menu items that include eggs are the Homestyle Chicken Salad (Grilled Smoky Southern Chicken Breast), Homestyle Chicken Salad (Sunday Homestyle Chicken® Breast), Chef Salad, Homestyle Chicken BLT (grilled Smoky Southern Chicken Breast), Homestyle Chicken BLT(Sunday Homestyle Chicken® Breast), and The Barrel Cheeseburger.
Some of Cracker Barrel’s soups contain eggs such as the Turkey Noodle Soup, Beef n’ Noodle Soup, Chicken Noodle Soup, and Chili.
The kids hand-breaded fried chicken tenders and the Crispy Rockin’ Shrimp contain eggs.
Only one dessert contains egg which is the Double Fudge Coca Cola® Cake.
Soy Allergy at Cracker Barrel
Cracker Barrel isn’t the friendliest menu when it comes to soy, however, there are still choices. One does need to pay attention to the risk of cross-contamination from grilling or frying with shared items if you have a soy allergy. Cracker Barrel uses soybean oil for fried menu items.
Here are some breakfast items free of soy: thick-sliced bacon, spicy chicken sausage, country fried steak (without the gravy), smoked sausage patties, fried U.S. catfish Fillet, biscuit beignets, and country ham. These menu items have potential risk of containing soy due to cross-contamination due to the cooking methods.
The fried apples, multigrain toast, tomato slices, and fresh seasonal fruit do not contain soy.
For Lunch n’ Dinner the Plain Country Fried Steak, Country Ham, US Farm-raided Catfish (fried), and Southern Fried Chicken do not contain soy.
For Lunch n’ Dinner sides the Bowl of Pinto Beans, Bowl of Turnip Greens, and Beans n’ Greens do not contain soy. The steak fries, breaded fried okra, country green beans, fried apples, fresh seasonal fruit, and loaded baked potatoes do not contain soy.
The Country House Salad with Grilled Chicken, House Salad, and Homestyle Chicken BLT (grilled Smoky Chicken Breast) do not contain soy.
All soups contain soy.
There are only two soy-free menu items on the kid’s menu which is the Lil’ Barrel Cheeseburger and the Country Vegetable Plate.
Please note that the adult Barrel Cheeseburger contains soy per the allergen menu. So this is a little confusing. Why would the Lil’ Barrel Cheeseburger not contain soy and the Barrel Cheeseburger contain soy?
There is one soy-free dessert which is the biscuit beignets.
Wheat Allergy at Cracker Barrel
Many of Cracker Barrel’s menu items contain wheat.
Wheat-free breakfast options include farm fresh eggs, egg whites, bacon, smoked sausage patties, country ham, sugar-cured ham, grilled chicken tenders, Spicy Chicken Sausage, Impossible™ Sausage Made from plants, and U.S. Catfish Fillet (both grilled and fried).
There is risk for cross-contamination due to different cooking methods.
Breakfast sides that do not contain wheat are the fried apples, tomato slices, coarse ground grits, and fresh seasonal fruit.
Grilled chicken tenders, sugar-cured ham, country ham, and U.S. Farm-raised Catfish (grilled and fried) are wheat free.
Other wheat-free items include Monday’s Maple Bacon Grilled Chicken, Lemon Pepper Grilled Trout, bowl of pinto beans, bowl of turnip greens, beans n’ greens, mashed potatoes, steak fries, whole baby carrots, whole kernel corn, country green beans, cole slaw, fried apples, loaded baked sweet potato, loaded baked potato, Country House Salad with grilled chicken, fresh seasonal fruit, sweet potato casserole, and course ground grits.
The kid’s menu has limited wheat-free options. The grilled chicken tenders are wheat-free.
There are no wheat-free dessert menu items at Cracker Barrel.
Tree Nut Allergy at Cracker Barrel
There are currently only three menu items listed that contain tree nuts at Cracker Barrel.
They are the pecan pancake, sweet potato casserole which contains pecans, and a loaded baked sweet potato that contains pecans.
Be sure to talk with a manager at Cracker Barrel if you have a tree nut allergy, especially if you plan to order pancakes. The manager can talk with the chefs to make sure that the risk of cross-contamination is addressed.
Is Cracker Barrel Peanut Free?
The full Cracker Barrel menu is listed as peanut free, however, since the allergen menu was last updated on June 1, 2022, there is a new menu item. This menu item is not listed on the allergen menu. There is now a NEW peanut butter cup mocha which is available for a limited time.
Shellfish Allergy at Cracker Barrel
The Country Fried Shrimp Southern Supper, Crispy Rockin’ Shrimp, and Clam Chowder are the menu items that contain shellfish at Cracker Barrel.
Be aware that the shrimp is fried and therefore there is a potential risk of cross-contact when ordering other fried foods.
Fish Allergy at Cracker Barrel
The U.S. Catfish (both grilled and fried), Friday Fish Fry Dinner, Country Fried Shrimp, Lemon Pepper, Grilled Rainbow Trout, and Crispy Rockin’ Shrimp are all listed as containing fish.
Again, be sure to be aware of the risk of cross-contact due to cooking methods such as frying or grilling other menu items.
Sesame Allergy at Cracker Barrel
With Sesame recently added as one of the top nine allergens in the United States, it would be ideal if sesame was listed on the allergen menu. I am sure this will come eventually, but for now, sesame allergy information is not listed on Cracker Barrel’s allergen menu.
However, the rating for Sesame is low because one can not determine which menu items contain sesame.
Cracker Barrel’s Food Allergen Menu Confidence Ranking
Let’s review The Food Allergy Advisor™ Ranking System for Confidence.
Is there Ambiguity?
The Food Allergy Advisor feels there is little ambiguity when looking at Cracker Barrel’s food allergen menu.
The menu is clearly laid out in a table format. It would be helpful if every other line of the table was highlighted in a different color to help keep the eye scrolling across the correct row.
I love how Cracker Barrel’s food allergen menu has a column for preparation. It notes if the menu item is fried in soybean oil or if the items are grilled. The menu has a “Y” in the table if menu items have the potential risk of cross-contact with all allergens due to the cooking methods. It is clear and easy to follow.
Is there a Mission Statement?
Cracker Barrel states, “One thing Pleasing People® means is preparing each and every one of our menu items with the highest care.”
They do have a message when opening up the food allergen menu.
They state, “Whether you’re craving a traditional breakfast, fresh salad, or homestyle favorite, we like to think there’s something for everyone at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store®. Knowing that some of our guests may have specific dietary needs, we’ve crafted a variety of dishes to make sure that everyone at the table can enjoy a delicious meal that’s right for them.”
I think it is a nice message. It shows they do care about those with food allergies or other dietary needs.
Are there Personal Touches?
There are some personal touches. I love that Cracker Barrel is very specific about which fried and grilled items have potential for cross-contact with other food allergens. This is very specific based on each line of the food allergen menu. Many restaurants are not as clear on this.
I also love that they have a statement, “We recommend our guests with food allergies speak with the restaurant manager prior to placing an order, to make the kitchen aware of your needs.”
I have had good personal experiences at my local Cracker Barrel when talking to a manager about food allergies.
Has the Menu Been Updated Within Six Months?
Cracker Barrel had updated its allergen menu as of June 1, 2022. So, yes. They have updated the menu within six months.
Are there Clear Cross Contamination Statements
There are very clear cross-contamination statements. As noted above, the information about the shared fryer menu and items that may share a grill is especially helpful.
Cracker Barrel’s Completeness Ranking
Below is The Food Allergy Advisor™ ranking for Completeness of Cracker Barrel’s allergen menu.
Are All Nine Major Allergens Included?
Cracker Barrel does not include all nine of the major allergens: wheat, egg, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, milk, shellfish, fish, and sesame.
Sesame is not included on Cracker Barrel’s allergen menu. Sesame is now considered one of the top 9 food allergens in the United States.
Like most restaurants, this will likely be updated in 2023. As of January 1, 2023 sesame should be declared on food labels. Many restaurants will likely be including sesame on the food allergen menu beginning in 2023.
Are Full Ingredient Lists Available for Menu Items?
I was unable to find a full ingredient list for each menu item. For example, I could not see what ingredients were in the Loaded Hashbrown Casserole Tots.
And remember that the fried catfish is listed as wheat-free? I’d be curious to see what the breading is made out of but that information isn’t available on the menu. I am guessing cornmeal, but am unsure. It would be great to have a full ingredient list.
Not having ingredients listed makes things more challenging for any food allergen that is not one of the top 9 food allergens.
Is the Nutrition Information Easy to Compare to the Food Allergy Information
You can not compare nutrition information to food allergy information on the same search tab. You must go out of the food allergy menu to find nutrition information. This is not ideal.
Is it Easy to Complete an Online Order within the Food Allergy Section of the Menu?
When placing an online order, the bottom of the webpage has a link where you can click “Allergen Guide.” However, you can not view allergen information on the same page as the order page. These are two separate tabs on the website.
Cracker Barrel’s Food Allergen Menu Intuitiveness Ranking
Below is The Food Allergy Advisor’s Ranking System for Intuitiveness.
Is the Cracker Barrel Menu Easy to Understand?
The menu is easy to understand. It is a simple table that is clear and concise.
Ease of Mobile Access
I don’t think it is effortless to quickly find Cracker Barrel’s allergen menu on mobile. You have to click on “Guest Relations,” then click “Restaurant” and then click “Nutrition & Allergens.”
You can also view the “allergen guide” at the page’s footer if you begin an online order and have selected an item to order.
It would be ideal if their allergen menu was available on the footer of the homepage.
Is it Easy to Find Allergy Information on Cracker Barrel’s Website?
This could use some improvement. It takes several clicks to access the allergen menu from your laptop or desktop. The food allergen menu is not in the most obvious of locations.
From the homepage, you click under “Guest Relations,” then click “FAQ’s.” Then click on “restaurants” and finally click “Nutrition & Allergens.”
You can also view the “allergen guide” at the page’s footer if you begin an online order and have selected an item, but you have to be fairly far into the ordering process to view the menu.
It would be ideal if there were far fewer clicks to get to the Cracker Barrel Allergen menu. Having the allergen menu available on the footer of the homepage would be helpful.
Easy to Sort
Cracker Barrel’s allergen menu is a stagnant PDF. There is no sorting feature.
Is there an Application for Your Phone?
The Cracker Barrel app has over 2 thousand users.
When placing an online order on the app, the bottom of the webpage has a link where you can click “Allergen Guide.” However, you can not view allergen information on the same page as the order page.
The Food Allergy Advisor™ Scoring System is for menus in the United States and review is based on the date/time that the food allergy menu was accessed. The Food Allergy Advisor™ will make its best efforts to update restaurant scores periodically.
Always check the food allergen menu of the particular restaurant where you will be dining, do not rely on the information in this blog post as food menus may change. Check Cracker Barrel’s food allergen menu site for the most updated information.
This post is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as advice.
Global chain supply issues may affect menu items at restaurants. Be sure to read individual statements for all restaurants regarding changes in menus/ingredients and their statements regarding cross-contamination.
Ranking a restaurant here and/or including a menu item here does not guarantee that the particular restaurant/menu item is safe for your individual needs.
This Website Does Not Provide Medical Advice
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
The Food Allergy Advisor feels that Cracker Barrel makes a true effort to have a variety of dishes available appropriate for many different types of food allergies.
It would be nice if Cracker Barrel’s food allergen menu was easier to find on desktop, laptop, and mobile devices. Currently, you have to click through several areas of the site to get to the food allergy menu.
Adding ingredients to each menu item would be ideal. This is not a feature that currently exists on their menu.
Cracker Barrel does a great job of explaining the risk of cross-contact for items that are either grilled or fried. They also encourage their diners to speak with a manager if they have a food allergy which is a definite positive.
Overall, Cracker Barrel creates does a good job of clearly communicating allergens on the menu.
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