Colleges work to meet needs of students with allergies

Dining services departments take a hands-on approach to ensure food safety.

TORONTO, ONTARIO—When her son David Parkinson was a little boy with allergies to seven different foods, Susan Leavitt shuddered at the thought of him leaving home one day to go to university. The idea of a young man at risk for anaphylaxis eating mass-prepared food in a huge dining hall alongside hundreds of students seemed unfathomable.

“I hope he gets into NYU or Columbia, there’s no way he’s going to leave New York,” she recalls thinking. But as David grew up and learned to take responsibility for his allergies, both mother and son gained confidence. When he first entered university, Susan knew that her son could live on campus and manage his allergies – that is, provided the food services staff could be relied on to do their part.

As it turned out, could they ever. At the University of Delaware, David had the honor of having his meals prepared by the university’s executive chef of catering. The two would meet to go over the menu for the week ahead: what was being made, what David wanted, and how they could make it work for him. David could even call ahead and let the kitchen know when he would arrive. The chef was so mindful of David’s needs that he insisted the freshman promise to only eat food directly from the kitchen. One time, David broke that rule and was eating something from a self-serve area. A staff member came rushing over to scold: “Where did you get that!?”

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
boston college acai bowl

From Dannon Foodservice.

Catering to the go-go-go lifestyle of university students is a challenge, and it’s one that Boston College dining representatives wrestle with daily.

“Students don’t just want to eat dinner between 5 and 7 p.m.,” says Beth Emery, the school’s director of dining. “They may want to eat dinner at 9 o’clock. We’ve been trying to come up with creative solutions.”

Those creative solutions include everything from offering breakfast items throughout the day to providing healthier late-night choices to trolling social media for trendy new menu ideas...

Sponsored Content
savory yogurt parfait

From Dannon Foodservice.

What consumers eat and, most importantly, when they’re eating it has changed significantly in recent years, signaling opportunity for operators able to capitalize on this evolution.

For example, some 83% of consumers said they were daily snackers in 2016, according to Technomic’s Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report . That’s up from 76% just two years earlier. Snacking is growing across many channels from retail prepared foods to bakery and coffee cafes, fast-food locations and more.

Busy lifestyles, smaller households with greater meal...

Industry News & Opinion

Labor secretary nominee Andy Puzder has officially bowed out of consideration for the cabinet position, according to the Associated Press .

Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants—the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.—was tired of being under fire for hiring an undocumented immigrant as a nanny and being accused 26 years ago of physically abusing his wife, an unnamed source told CBS News . The agency reported that Puzder was unlikely to show for the start of his confirmation hearings tomorrow.

Puzder has also been attacked by organized labor for comments suggesting that...

Industry News & Opinion

Risley Dining Room at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., has just become 100 percent gluten-free, 14850.com reports.

For the past two years, the university has slowly phased out gluten in the dining hall’s menu by eliminating it in its stir fries, biscuits and brownies.

Instead of offering gluten-free versions of typical college fare, including pizza and pasta, the dining service team aimed for more sophisticated restaurant-style items.

Along with being gluten-free, Risley is also peanut free and tree-nut free.

The dining room is the second college eatery...

FSD Resources