Food Allergy Process

Creating healthy, enjoyable meals for our customers is important to us. We want mealtimes to provide a social opportunity to enjoy good food, conversation, and relaxation. In residence hall dining centers Dining Services has a process for staff and customers that helps provide food alternatives to accommodate students with food allergies.

What We Do

Dining Services representatives are available to meet with students to discuss food allergies. We review menus and recipes, tour storerooms and preparation areas, and check food labels with students, then assist them in determining alternative food choices.

The Process

The Associate Director of Dining Services oversees the process, reviewing it at least once every two years. Dining services staff is trained on the process annually. Here are the steps we follow:

  • Students bring physician documentation stating the food allergy or food sensitivity, e.g. a physician's prescription or diet prescription.
  • Students and parents will have the opportunity to meet with a Dining Services Manager to discuss food allergies, this process, and tour the kitchens in all residence halls.
  • The student communicates with the management and service staff regarding food ingredient questions.
  • Students are encouraged, at any time during the semester, to meet with dining services management if they have concerns.
  • For prepared food items, the student and management staff reviews recipes and/or food labels.
  • The supervisor on duty will assist the student with alternate menu selections as needed.
  • The pick-up time for specially prepared food items will be determined by the production staff. We will do everything possible to accommodate the student's schedule.
  • As necessary, the production staff prepares food using these precautions:
  • Washing hands and wearing non-latex gloves.
  • Using clean pans, knives, utensils, and work surfaces.
  • All residence hall dining centers offer students the opportunity to store an EpiPen on site if the student so desires.
  • Students with life-threatening allergies may be exempt from the meal plan.
  • All residence hall dining centers have gluten-free bread, entrees, and pizza crusts available upon request.
  • Residence hall dining centers do have the most common allergens present in food production areas and equipment is used in the preparation of a variety of items. 
  • Self-service food areas do present the danger of cross-contamination.
  • Menu items with less obvious ingredients, such as nuts, will be listed on posted signs as often as possible.
  • Common ingredients such as milk, flour, and wheat are the responsibility of the student to observe.
  • Ground meat combination foods usually contain soy proteins.
  • Manufacturers can change formulation without notice. 

Staff Procedures for Allergic Reactions

When a student is suspected to have an allergic reaction, a staff member shall call 911. The staff member should provide the address of the dining center and state that a customer is having an allergic reaction. A staff member should stay with the individual until medical help arrives. Someone else should be sent to watch for and direct medical personnel to the customer in need.

If the student carries an EpiPen, they may use it in the event of an allergic reaction. A staff member shall immediately call 911.