Harvard University

Dining Services
Made-to-order items

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.

Made-to-order items
[Yes, for all stations]
How are ingredients available?
Table: Ingredient Info Availability

 
Top 8 Allergens
Full Ingredients

Top 8 allergens, online database
[Yes]
Full ingredients, online database
[Yes]
Top 8 allergens, a list is posted in the dining hall
[Yes]
Full ingredients, a list is posted in the dining hall
[No]
Top 8 allergens, available on request in the dining hall
[Yes]
Full ingredients, available on request in the dining hall
[Yes]
Specific areas

All made-to-order stations have ingredient information for the items available on the website or by request from the student.

Additional Information

Allergens are denoted for ingredients that are made in a facility or processed on equipment with allergens.

 

Ingredient labels for items used in cycle menus are audited yearly to ensure accuracy and HUDS maintains a no-substitution policy for our vendors. This ensures that only items with approved nutrition and allergen labels are used in our cycle menus to ensure labeling accuracy. 

Self-Serve Items

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.

Self-Serve Items
[Yes, for all stations]
How are ingredients available?
Table: Ingredient Info Availability

 
Top 8 Allergens
Full Ingredients

Top 8 allergens, online database
[Yes]
Full ingredients, online database
[Yes]
Top 8 allergens, a list is posted in the dining hall
[Yes]
Full ingredients, a list is posted in the dining hall
[No]
Top 8 allergens, available on request in the dining hall
[Yes]
Full ingredients, available on request in the dining hall
[Yes]
Specific areas

All self-serve stations have complete ingredient information available online or by request from the student. Top 8 allergens for the self-serve station components are available for each item on a menu card posted on the station.

Additional Information

Allergens are denoted for ingredients that are made in a facility or processed on equipment with allergens.

Ingredient labels for items used in cycle menus are audited yearly to ensure accuracy and HUDS maintains a no-substitution policy for our vendors. This ensures that only items with approved nutrition and allergen labels are used in our cycle menus to ensure labeling accuracy. 

Made-To-Order Areas

3. We have procedures in place to lower the risk of cross-contact in made-to-order areas.

Made-to-order areas
[Yes, in all stations]
Additional information

All made-to-order stations include the option for students with allergies to have their meal prepared on a clean surface (e.g. aluminum foil on the grill, a clean cutting board) and using clean gloves and utensils. Staff are trained in allergy awareness during new employee onboarding and once a year thereafter. 

For the grill station, students with severe allergies can have a personal-sized portable grill purchased for them by HUDS to accommodate their allergen-safe foods. 

Self-Serve Areas

4. We have procedures in place to lower the risk of cross-contact in self-serve areas.

Self-Serve Areas
[Yes, in all areas]
Additional Information

High risk foods are grouped together on self-serve stations to prevent risk of cross contact (e.g. cheese is placed next to yogurt on the salad bar, vegetables are grouped together, etc.).


  • Greens for salad are placed away from toppings on the salad bar to prevent contamination by potential allergens. 
  • Croutons are stored in a separate pouring container
  • Those with peanut allergies can request their own sun butter stored in a location away from the peanut butter
  • Gluten-free products are stored in a separate location separate from gluten-containing products

All self-serve stations in the dining houses are monitored by staff for cleanliness - utensils are replaced every 20 minutes during service to decrease risk of cross contact. Students can also request a fresh portion of a food from the backup warmer for any item available in the self-serve stations. 


Gluten-free toasters are available in all dining houses, gluten-free microwaves are also available in many locations and/or available upon request by a student. Gluten and allergy-friendly foods (e.g. baked goods, pastas, etc) are stored in separate locations away from foods containing these allergens. Locations vary by house and is shown to students during initial tours by dining hall managers. 

Pre-Order Meals

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.

Do students have access to pre-order meals free from their allergens?
[Yes]
Additional information

Use of the “email method" allows for meals prepared separately from the regular menu to decrease risk of cross-contamination. Students will email their dining hall management team with their meal selection(s) for the following day based on the online menu. Menu items can be modified to omit an allergen or simplify prepared menu items (e.g. steamed broccoli, grilled chicken without sauce, etc.). The specially-prepared meals are then placed in a designated container that the student will use throughout their four years at Harvard. Allergen-free meal prep kits are also available for students with severe allergies.

Allergy-Friendly Station

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.

Do students have access to an allergy-friendly station(s) that is free from specific allergens?
[No]
Dining Services Staff Member Trained?

7. We train dining services staff members.

Dining services staff trained?
[Yes, all staff]
Which course(s) are used?
ServSafe Allergen by National Restaurant Association
Massachusetts' Food Allergen Awareness training video
What topics are covered?

The top 8 allergens, recognizing anaphylaxis, best practices to prevent cross contact during food prep and during general food service. 

Additional information
  • Managers and people in charge are required to be Allergen Awareness Certified and ServSafe certified
  • The Allergen Awareness video is shown during August Unit Kick-Off Meetings
  • Managers show the Allergen Awareness video during a new employee's orientation
  • A  comprehensive Allergen Awareness training also occurs during January Training Week, though not all employees are present during this time. 
Registered Dietitian on Staff?

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.

Do you have a registered dietitian on staff?
[Yes]
Campus Life & Disabilities
RAs Trained

9. We train our RA's.

RA’s trained
[No]
Inclusive Resident Life Programs Including Food

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.

Inclusive resident life programs involving food?
[Yes]
How can students access safe foods for resident life programs?

Harvard housing has provided information in our House Committee manual about accommodating different dietary needs, and it is part of the CEB’s planning for any event involving meals. Individual House Administrators work with their tutors/HUDS staff if they know of any particular needs in their individual House communities.

Accommodations for Roommate Assignments

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.

Accommodations for roommate assignments
[No]
Does the housing office process requests?
Not Answered
Disability Services Office Processes Food Allergy and Celiac Disease Accommodation Requests

12. Our disability office processes food allergy and celiac disease accommodation requests.

Disability services office processes food allergy and celiac disease accommodation requests
[Yes]
Other departments a student should contact?

No

How can students submit an accommodations request?

By accessing the form at https://aeo.fas.harvard.edu/students/register. Students should be prepared to provide medical documentation and attend meeting(s) with AEO, and later, with dining services, to determine how we can best accommodate the student's needs.

Additional Information
Health Services

See what health services we offer >

What health services are offered?
Food allergy management care
Allergy testing and diagnosis
We have an allergy clinic on campus
Emergency Response
Stock, Undesignated Epinephrine Available for Emergency Response

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.

Stock, undesignated epinephrine for emergencies
[No]
Additional information

Students are advised to maintain their own supply of epinephrine.

Campus Emergency Responders Carry Epinephrine

14. Our campus emergency responders carry epinephrine.

Campus emergency responders carry epinephrine
[Some]
Who are the emergency responders?
On-campus emergency responders
City emergency responders
Additional information

Harvard University police do not carry epinephrine, though city EMT's do. Crimson EMS (peers who are trained as EMTs) also carry epinephrine. 

Emergency Response Policy

See what our emergency response policy allows for >

What does the policy allow for?
Staff is trained to recognize anaphylaxis and call emergency responders
On-campus emergency responders carry epinephrine for use in an emergency
Additional Information

HUPD (Harvard University Police Department) and 911 for any life-threatening concerns or medical situations. City responders (EMTs) respond to instances of anaphylaxis, although students also have the option to take themselves to Harvard's health services when it is open.  

Contact Info
Dining Services Staff Contact
Karen Jew, MS, RD, LDN
Disability Staff Contact
Accessible Education Office
6174968707
Last updated on:
July 15, 2020

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