1. We provide access to ingredient information for made-to-order* items. *Made-to-order - Meals that are prepared on request and to your specification in the dining hall. Examples include a sandwich station, omelet station, burrito station, etc.
All short order stations have ingredients available online and by request. If a short-order station includes one of the 8 major allergens, it is noted on the digital signage.
2. We provide access to ingredient information for self-serve* items. *Self-serve - Meals that are served buffet-style in a dining hall. These are typically high risk for cross-contact and are best avoided by diners with food allergies.
Salad dressings, soups, packaged breads and bagels, cereals, bottled drinks and packaged snacks, frozen meals in the gluten-free area, and all items in the Grab and Go areas like sandwiches, salads, and overnight oatmeal.
3. We have procedures in place to lower the risk of cross-contact in made-to-order areas.
Boston College provides short-order stations at every meal. Procedures include, but are not limited to:
- Staff are highly trained in cross-contact procedures. If a student asks a question about any ingredient, even if they do not self-identify with an allergy, staff are trained to get a manager. If the student has an allergy, a meal can be prepared separately in the kitchen without cross contact.
- Staff are also trained to give fresh plates to each student, replace any utensil that touches another ingredient, put on new gloves between preparing each menu item, and clean and sanitize grills and other cooking surfaces if a new ingredient will be used.
- There is digital signage above each servery with allergens highlighted in red lettering. If a menu item has tree nuts or peanuts, it is in the title of the dish.
- An online menu is available for students to use, and filter dishes by their allergen.
- There is a dedicated short-order station, called Plain and Simple, at every dinner meal at the 3 major dining halls. The station's offerings are always free of all 8 major allergens, sesame and gluten and prepared without cross-contact.
- If cross-contact occurs, the meal item is thrown away.
- All staff are trained to get a manager if a student asks a question about any ingredient, even if the student does not identify an allergy.
4. We have procedures in place to lower the risk of cross-contact in self-serve areas.
Our self-serve areas are limited to the salad bar, grain bar, yogurt and cereal bars, soup and oatmeal bars, and dessert/baked goods area. In these areas, examples of our procedures are as follows:
- These areas never have peanuts, tree nuts or sesame seeds.
- Croutons are separated from the salad bar.
- We have signage on the dessert/baked good station that alerts any student with nut allergies to avoid the items. - The soups have ingredient lists displayed with allergens noted.
- There is separate serving utensils for each food item, and staff will replace these as needed.
- All cereal containers are refilled only with the same cereal.
- Staff are trained in lowering cross-contact risk, and managers monitor staff to ensure they are following procedures. Staff are trained to get a manager if a student asks a question about allergies related to the self-serve area.
- There are dedicated gluten-free self-serve areas in the 3 major dining halls accessible to students.
- All of the above information is communicated online.
- Students are encouraged to meet with the Administrative Dietitian to learn how to best navigate self-serve areas.
5. We have pre-order meals* available. *Pre-order meals - Custom meals that can be ordered in advance by a diner so they are ready for pick up at a specific time. Typically these can be ordered online or by phone/text.
To pre-order meals through email or phone, students need to adhere to the Policy for Meal Accommodations, found here (http://www.bc.edu/offices/dining/nutrition/dining-on-a-restricted-diet.html).
6. We have an allergy-friendly station*. *Allergy-friendly station - A food station where specific ingredients are banned, typically including many or all items in the Top 8 allergens and gluten.
The Plain and Simple line is our allergy-friendly station. The food is a hot meal, served at dinner, at all 3 major dining halls.
7. We train dining services staff members.
The basics of food allergies (what they are, signs/symptoms, top 8 allergens and sesame, difference between allergies and intolerance); where food allergens are commonly found at BC (i.e. fryer, baked goods); who to call in the case of a student having an allergic reaction; how to avoid and what to do in the case of cross contact from back of house to front of house; and policies and procedures for food allergies, Celiac disease, and other diagnoses that require dietary management.The latter includes staff being well-trained about getting a manager any time they are asked a question about an ingredient or allergy. Lastly, managers regularly do a 411 prior to meals so that information about avoiding cross contact are reinforced.
8. We have a registered dietitian* on staff. *Registered dietitian - Registered dietitians are food and nutrition experts who are often tasked with helping students with food allergies navigate the dining halls.
9. We train our RA's.
10. We have inclusive resident life programs* including food. *Inclusive resident life programs - Programs in the resident halls often include food. Inclusive resident life programs will offer students with food allergies the opportunity to request safe food alternatives for events they attend in the dorms.
Students who are going on school-sponsored trips and self-identify prior to the trip can work with the Administrative Dietitian to make a set menu.
11. We offer accommodations for roommate assignments. *Every accommodation request is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. A housing accommodation cannot be guaranteed prior to an individual evaluation.
12. Our disability office processes food allergy and celiac disease accommodation requests.
Meet with the Office of Disabilities and provide appropriate documentation, as outlined in the policy.
See what health services we offer >
13. We have stock, undesignated epinephrine* available for emergency response. *Stock, undesignated epinephrine - Epinephrine that is prescribed to a college or university rather than to a particular student. This epinephrine is kept on hand to use for any student that experiences anaphylaxis.
14. Our campus emergency responders carry epinephrine.
See what our emergency response policy allows for >