Food Allergies | Kent State University

Food Allergies

OUR PHILOSOPHY

University Dining Services supports students with food allergies by providing information necessary for the student to make informed food choices in our dining locations. We work together so that students may participate in the college dining experience as much as possible. We take into account each student’s dietary needs and make every effort to provide helpful information to those with food allergies. We give students the tools they need to be active in the management of their food allergy or food-related medical condition in ways that provide a safe and supportive transition into college life.

If you have questions or need assistance managing your food allergy on campus, please contact University Dining Services Health & Wellness Manager, Carolyn Hodges, RD at chodges4@kent.edu


YOUR MANAGEMENT

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES WHEN MANAGING A FOOD ALLERGY IN THE RESIDENTIAL DINING LOCATIONS
  1.  Notify Dining Services of your allergy.
  2. Schedule a meeting with our registered dietitian to develop a plan to navigate the dining halls.
  3. Be proficient in the selfmanagement of your food allergy including: Avoidance of foods to which you are allergic. Recognition of symptoms of allergic reactions. How and when to tell someone you might be having an allergyrelated problem. Knowledge of proper use of medications to break an allergic reaction. Carrying emergency contact information with you. Reviewing policies/procedures with Dining Services and your physician should a reaction occur.
  4. Read the station signage, menus and ingredient information available upon request and online at www.kent.edu/dining to be better informed.
  5. When in doubt regarding ingredients in a particular food, direct your questions to the registered dietitian, executive chef or manager on duty. If you do not know these individuals, please ask a cashier or another employee on duty.
  6. Due to the self-serve nature of the residential dining halls, if you have been prescribed an Epi-pen, carry it with you at all times.
  7.  If you notice something that is problematic for your allergy, please notify the registered dietitian, executive chef or manager on duty so they can look into your concern.
  8. If you have a question at any point, please ask the registered dietitian, executive chef or manager on duty. If we do not hear from you, we believe that you are successfully navigating the dining locations.

YOUR RESOURCES

The following resources are available to help you manage your food allergy:
  1. An individual meeting with our registered dietitian to receive information and develop an individual plan to help you navigate the residential dining facilities.
  2. The executive chef and manager on duty are available in residential dining halls and residential locations to address questions/concerns and serve as important resources.
  3. Access to our registered dietitian for ingredient consultations.
  4. Introduction to the dining management team will give you direct access to individuals responsible for food preparation.
  5. Online menus for each residential dining location: www.kent.edu/dining.
  6.  Manufacturer-provided entrée ingredient lists provided upon request.
  7.  Manufacturer-provided menu and nutrition information available online at www.kent.edu/dining.
  8. Signage at each food station in our residential dining locations with nutrition information.
  9.  Access to the dry and cold food storage in order to review ingredients personally (scheduled in advance).
  10.  Access to individually packaged foods to replace bulk items that have a high likelihood of crosscontamination (i.e., packets of cream cheese, jelly and peanut butter).
  11. Upon request, dining staff will change gloves or use fresh utensils or pans (at made-to-order stations) to reduce cross-contact.

OUR COMMITMENT

WE DEVELOP A PLAN WITH YOU
  1. Students with special dietary needs are welcome to meet with our registered dietitian to review their allergies, share information on how they have managed their allergy and learn how they can navigate the dining locations.
  2. After the initial meeting, the registered dietitian communicates with the executive chef about the student’s personal dietary needs and we help the student locate the food they can eat and accommodate their needs. Individual menu development and specially prepared foods can be provided when the daily offerings do not meet an individual’s dietary needs.
  3. A second meeting is held with the student, registered dietitian, executive chef and any other location manager or chef. This meeting allows the student to meet other individuals who can serve as local resources when they have questions. It also lets the dining staff know who the student is so they are familiar with their specific allergies and concerns they may have. Lastly, the meeting serves to review the food options that are available and the steps that all concerned can take to accommodate their needs and find appropriate foods.
  4. Ongoing evaluation occurs after these initial meetings. Approximately one week after the second meeting, the registered dietitian will contact the student to inquire how they are managing eating in the dining locations. If needed, the registered dietitian will continue to keep in close contact with the individual and check in periodically to monitor the process and provide assistance when required.

important note

Dining Services uses manufacturer-provided ingredient information and we do not confirm the presence or lack of an allergen. We periodically review ingredients to verify that ingredient labeling is consistent with what is provided by the manufacturer. However, please be advised that ingredients listed may be subject to change without notification and that products prepared in our kitchen may have come in contact with common food allergens. Please direct any questions regarding an allergy or food ingredients to our Registered Dietitan or a manager on duty:

R.D. Carolyn HodgesCarolyn Hodges, R.D.

Health and Wellness Manager

chodges4@kent.edu