We’ve been hearing more and more that colleges and high schools across the country are offering gluten and allergen-free options. The University of New Hampshire began offering gluten-free options for celiac and gluten intolerant students back in 2006. Now, as the demand has grown, so have their dining hall offerings.
Since 2006, UNH Dining have increased their gluten-free options, added special equipment to their kitchens to avoid cross contamination during prep, added full sized fridges and even an online ordering system for students and staff who require gluten-free options! Students are offered the option of having their food prepared using separate pans and utensils to prevent cross contamination.
“We have recently expanded our gluten friendly stations”, says Rochelle” L’Italien, a registered dietician. “We now have fully stocked refrigerators with assortments of gluten-free products. We also have dedicated equipment like a panini grill, toaster, knife and a cutting board.”
To help students and staff order safe food, menus on the UNH Dining website contain lots of helpful information on allergies and intolerances. Every food item lists what potential allergens it has or doesn’t have and there is an option to click on the food in order to view a full list of ingredients from the company.
“When someone places their order, everyone gets it,” L’Italien said. “We make sure that management, the chefs and others get the order so everyone knows to use designated equipment.”
This is wonderful to hear! It sounds like the University of New Hampshire really understands the importance of preparing safe, allergen-free options and do all they can to keep students and staff safe. Here’s hoping for a day when all institutions follow the same practices.
Does your school offer gluten-free options? Do you feel safe eating at your school’s dining hall?