N.C. State’s new system for halal diets

A color-coding initiative makes it easier for Muslim students to identify permissible foods.

nc state

After seeing an increase in students who eat in accordance with Islamic law, North Carolina State University Dining launched a new system to help those students identify halal foods in its cafeterias. The initiative was led by Lisa Eberhart, N.C. State’s director of nutrition and wellness, who noticed more students marking “halal” as an allergy or special dietary need.

“First, we identified pork products and initiated the use of a pink pig icon to help students figure out which dishes to avoid,” Eberhart says. Pork is not halal, as prescribed by the Quran. “And we are using red-handled pans and other utensils for items that have never contained meat.”

Eberhart worked with the Muslim Student Association on campus to make the accommodations in the dining halls. The Association also asked that a pork-free pan be available at all omelet stations, to ensure an omelet has not been touched by bacon, sausage or ham. The red-handled omelet pans are now in place. Designations are used in a couple of other situations too, says Eberhart. Vegan and vegetarian items are clearly marked with icons, as are all the major allergens. And purple kitchen tools are used for allergy food prep.

While separating pork from the mix is a start, Eberhart hopes to color-code or label other halal products by the end of the year, including the halal meats the university currently purchases.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

When looking for a way to get more use out of its Canyon Cafe, open during the weekends only, California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., tried something new: free cooking classes.

Classes are open to students, as well as faculty and staff, and are taught by Campus Dining Executive Chef Michael Albright, according to Mustang News .

The weekday classes, which are capped at 14 participants, have taught attendees how to make items such as probiotic overnight oats and “the perfect turkey.” Interested parties can sign up online via the school’s dining...

Managing Your Business
chef online sourcing

More than 40% of restaurants buy supplies from online sources such as Amazon at least once per month, reducing their reliance on distributors, according to new research from Technomic.

The bulk of the online shopping—what Technomic calls third-party e-sourcing, or 3ES—is for nonperishable foods and other supplies that can’t spoil, such as disposables. "Today, operators are most inclined to purchase products in the nonfoods and shelf space but are reluctant to source frozen and perishables from 3ES,” said Joe Pawlak, managing principal of Technomic. “However, they can envision a...

Industry News & Opinion

Anchorage School District in Anchorage, Alaska, is offering free meals to students this week while schools are closed due to the recent earthquake, KTVA reports.

The meals are being served at nine schools throughout the district between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and are available to anyone 18 and under. The district has provided school buses at each location to allow students to eat inside.

Read the full story via ktva.com .

Industry News & Opinion

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced its final rule on school meal standards .

The final rule builds upon the USDA's changes to school meal standards announced last year . It will keep the sodium Target 1 limits in place through school year 2023-2024, and Target 2 limits will go into effect for the 2024-2025 school year. The final sodium target (Target 3) will be eliminated.

While operators have been able to meet sodium Target 1 limits, many felt that the second two would be difficult to acheive. Over 90% of respondents in a School Nutrition...

FSD Resources