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The Blue & Gray Press | February 22, 2018

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Campus dining provides allergy friendly options

Seacobeck chef Sandy Williams specializes in preparing food for students with allergies that cause dietary restrictions.

According to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) website, gluten, peanuts and milk are among the most common food allergies.

Williams has taken numerous classes to learn about food allergies and how to properly accommodate for the students with these allergies.

The new “fit and fresh” station in Seacobeck provides students with allergies a variety of options, and Williams hopes to expand the station in the future.

“The sky is the limit,” Williams said. “The more I learn the bigger the program will become.  Knowledge is the key to growth!”

There are handouts available in the Dome Room about the special diet program, and contact information can be found inside these handouts.

UMW Dining Services has an on-staff dietitian who is available to meet with students who have special dietary needs.

“[Some] students have our [chefs] prepare them dishes each and every time to make sure there is no cross contamination,” said Dining Services General Manager, Kori Dean. “We have a very open door policy when it comes to special diets. We encourage students to come and work with us.”

Most food served on campus also has labels that specify whether or not the food is vegan or contains nuts.

Although students find the signs helpful, not all are aware of the additional available accommodations.

“I didn’t know that campus dining gave assistance for students,” said senior Ariana Johnson.