Dining with Food Allergies
Nourishing meals for all
- One in 25 Americans have food allergies.
- Eight foods account for 90% of the food-allergic reactions in the United States.
- These are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish. Sesame is another common food allergy. BC Dining ensures that students with these food allergies dine safely on campus.
- We created this handout to guide allergen-free dining.
What is a Food Allergy?
- An immune system reaction to a protein in food that acts as an allergen. The immune system identifies the allergen as a threat and attacks it.
- Symptoms range from mild to severe. Anaphylaxis is a severe, whole-body reaction and can be fatal.
- People with food allergies practice strict avoidance of the allergic food.
Managing a Food Allergy
- If you have a food allergy and have not met with our Dietitian, contact Kate Sweeney as soon as possible to learn about safely dining on campus with a food allergy. Having a food allergy can sometimes get in the way of balanced eating. Find out more about what balanced eating is and how to navigate BC Dining to eat balanced.
- Review BC's Meal Accommodation Policy, which includes meeting with Kate and registering with the Disabilities Services Office.
- You can seek meal accommodations, such as receiving a brown-bag lunch for a BC-sponsored event, a personalized menu from our Dietitian, or pre-ordering an allergen-free meal.
- Unsure of which items contain what? Ask a manager at any of our dining locations. They're happy to help!
- Be cautious of cross-contamination, and again ask a manager if you are concerned that something may be contaminated.
Don't Forget Your EpiPen!
- If you've been perscribed an EpiPen for the treatement of an allergic reaction you should always have it with you.
- In the case of an allergic reation, call BC Police at 2-4444 or 911 from a landline.
- BC Dining staff cannot administer the EpiPen, but a friend, family member or emergency personnel can.
Did You Know?
- Our Plain and Simple dinner station, open every evening at Corcoran, Stuart, and McElroy, serves meals free of the 8 top allergens (milk, soy, eggs, wheat, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts), gluten, and sesame.
- We host allergy focus groups! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
- Hillside's fryers use canola oil, but items fried in it contain soybean oil. No other allergens are present in the fryers, including gluten-containing foods.
- Use the Online Allergen Filter to check for allergen-free offerings at Corcoran, McElroy, Hillside, Stuart, and Lyons.
- Hard cheese, like cheddar, is free of lactose.
- Some people with lactose intolerance can eat Greek yogurt because it has less lactose than regular yogurt.
- Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) provides food allergy information, newsletters, and resource information.
- Our Pesto sauce is nut-free.
- Our granola is nut-free; it is made in a bakery that processes peanuts, treee nuts, and soy.
- Salad bars, grain bars, and yogurt bars are nut-free to reduce the possibility of cross-contact.
- Menu items containing nuts are identified with signage in the dining halls in red font and on the online menu.
- Bakery items should be avoided, since they are produced in our BC Bakery that also uses nuts.
- The FDA is advising people who are highly allergic to peanuts to consider avoiding products that contain ground cumin or cumin powder. For more information, please see this special peanut allergy alert from the FDA.
- Soy milk is available at Carney’s, Lower Live, and Stuart in dispensers.
- Unsweetened and vanilla almond milk is available every day at McElroy, Stuar, Corcoran, Lyons, and Walsh in dispensers.
- Soy milk, Lactaid milk, and almond milk are available in the grab n' go cases at McElroy, Stuart, Hillside, and Corcoran.
- Soy lattes are available at the Chocolate Bar and Hillside.
- Many soups on the rotating menu do not contain dairy - check the online menu or ingredient labels.
- Oatmeal is made with water in all dining locations.
- Acai bowls in McElory can be made with non-dairy milk - acai bowls in Addie's use almond milk - just ask!
Prescreen your menu choices for specific allergens (eggs, fish, shellfish, milk, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, and/or wheat) and get complete ingredient information by setting an allergen filter on our online menu. To access the online menu, first select your preferred dining location. The allergen filter is located on the top right hand side of the page. Note: BC is not an allergen-free facility.
For information regarding accommodations for a medically prescribed diet while dining on campus, please refer to our University protocol.
Learn about our gluten-free and food allergy focus group: email@example.com
Liability and Disclaimer Notice
Boston College Dining Services uses soy, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, dairy, shellfish, wheat, sesame, gluten-containing foods, and other potential allergens in meal preparation. BC Dining staff are trained on and aware of the severity of food allergies and Celiac disease, and allergens are identified to the best of our ability. However, manufacturers change product formulation without notifying BC Dining and cross-contact is possible. Students need to be aware of risks and take responsibility for asking the manager on duty for assistance. BC Dining strongly encourages students with food allergies or Celiac Disease to follow the Policy for Meal Accommodations, and meet with the Administrative Dietitian.