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University of North Texas revamps dining hall to be free of 8 major allergens

New eatery Kitchen West offers a “worry-free” dining experience.
Photograph courtesy of University of North Texas

Catering to students with dietary restrictions, the University of North Texas has opened Kitchen West, a new dining hall free of eight major allergens.

The eatery, which had a soft opening in September, refrains from serving ingredients containing fish, eggs, wheat, peanuts, soy, milk, shellfish and tree nuts.

“We wanted to offer this unique dining experience so that members of our community who have food allergies could eat worry-free,” said Peter Balabuch, executive director of dining services for the Denton, Texas, university, in a statement. “At Kitchen West, the ‘Big 8’ allergens will never touch any of the foods or the utensils and equipment used for preparation and serving. That’s a reassuring thing for those individuals with food allergies and for the parents of our students.”

Mac n Cheese

Photograph courtesy of University of North Texas

Menu items for the dining hall were developed over the summer and tested in another eatery on campus.

“This has been a huge learning process, and we’ve come up with some flavorful items that are already receiving great feedback,” Kitchen West supervisor Amber Duncan said. “We’ll continue to add new foods to the menu so we can incorporate our students’ favorites.”

As part of the revamp, the space has also been updated with more modern decor.

University of North Texas is already home to one dining hall that addresses dietary restrictions: the vegan Mean Greens Cafe, which it opened in 2011.

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