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.
We have ingredient information available for all made-to-order stations.
Regardless of the allergen tag on an item, or of the ingredients listed for an item, it's always best practice to declare one's allergy when placing an order. This will ensure all proper steps are taken to prevent cross-contact.
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.
All self-serve areas have ingredient information available. The Health Department requires a list of all ingredients for all self-serve locations at the operation. In addition, ingredients can be found online or on The Ohio State University mobile app.
If there is ever an instance where the information can't be retrieved, please ask a manager for help and they will gladly assist.
3. We have procedures in place to lower the risk of cross-contact in made-to-order areas.
All Dining Services employees (including student employees) are required to take online training that was designed in house. Everyone is trained to retrieve a manager when someone declares a food allergy. Managers, therefore, have more training with the Assistant Director of Nutrition; upon hire and bi-yearly. During this training they make an allergen safe meal, using the steps we have created to prevent cross-contact. Managers are also required to reinforce their knowledge of the steps by training any student-lead who wishes to become a student manager. All steps are listed and laminated in each operation at every food station.
4. We have procedures in place to lower the risk of cross-contact in self-serve areas.
Any student or customer with a food allergy is asked to retrieve a manager if he/she would like something from a self-serve station. The manager will then retrieve the desired food item from an unopened container and serve it with a clean and sanitized utensil.
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.
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.
We have a Solution Station at each of our three Traditions (All you-care-to-eat) operations. The Solution Station is free of nuts, gluten, and is plant-forward. We offer grilled chicken and/or blend burger (half beef, and half mushroom) as the only non-vegetarian food items.
The Solution Station serves foods that are prepared in a designated area free of nuts, gluten, fish and shellfish. The utensils used at the Solution Station are purple. All dining staff who work at the Solution Station must first go through an online training specifically for that station.
7. We train dining services staff members.
Basic food allergy 101, the different between an allergy and an intolerance, a brief overview of Celiac Disease, how to react if someone is having an anaphylaxic reaction, the importance of avoiding cross-contact and how to avoid cross-contact (including the steps we have written out at each station on campus), the importance of retrieving a manager when someone says they have a food allergy of any kind, a review of customer service expectations when it comes to customers with food allergies.
All of our full time staff also get an empathy training; for one lunch they are assigned a food allergy and they must go through the line and avoid any foods with the allergen they have been assigned. This training is a great way to develop empathy in those who have never had a food allergy or known someone with a food allergy.
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.
Resident Life is aware of the Dining Service's Assistant Director of Nutrition's role in helping students who have food allergies on campus. When planning programs they are able to reach out to Dining Services for help and assistance.
Every year Dining Services organizes two events, with the support of Residence Life;
1. Food Fair Open House; showcases items that are nut free, gluten free and/or vegetarian
2. Allergen Free Meal; twice a year we host a meal that is free of all the top 8 allergens (including Gluten). All student who have a food allergy or intolerance are invited.
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.
In order to be considered for a housing accommodation students must meet with the Assistant Director of Nutrition for Dining Services, and get a detailed note form his/her doctor. By calling University Housing at the number above all information can be retrieved as far as steps for these accommodations.
12. Our disability office processes food allergy and celiac disease accommodation requests.
Students can register with disability services if they have a food allergy or Celiac Disease.
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 >