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Brown Dining Services

Medical Dietary Accommodations

Tips for dining with a food allergy

  • Know how severe your food allergy or allergies are.
  • Know that if your food allergy or medical condition is life threatening or severely limiting, that you should register with the offices of Student and Employee Accessibility Services (SEAS).
  • Know your symptom(s).
  • Understand the top eight major food allergens (as defined by FALCPA/FDA) and their derivatives as well as any and all ingredients you might be allergic (intolerant) to.
    • Here is a little help-
      • Milk
      • Egg
      • Soy
      • Fish
      • Shellfish
      • Peanut
      • Tree nut
      • Wheat
    *Gluten, or the protein gliadin, inherent in wheat, rye, and barley (oats too, if not grown on dedicated fields) is not a major food allergen. A wheat allergy is not gluten intolerance.
  • Know where to find the weekly dining hall menus.
  • Know where to find and access the weekly ingredient cards for the dining halls
  • Know what my responsibility (ies) are as a meal contract participant dining on campus with a food allergy.
  • Know the difference between a residential dining hall and a retail operation.
  • Plan ahead.
    • Register with SEAS.
    • Seek out menu information.
    • Seek out ingredient/nutrition information.
  • Maintain a food diary or food record.

Meal Accommodation Examples and Instructions

*We cannot provide for dietary preferences.
If you are an academic year, meal plan participant and require a meal plan accommodation, please follow these steps:


You must register with the office of Student and Employee Accessibility Services (SEAS, formerly DSS). The office of SEAS provides information around documentation requirements; please follow the detailed instructions outlined on the SEAS web site. In order to accommodate you, we recommend you contact the office of SEAS at least three weeks prior to arriving on campus.


After registering, you must wait for communication from SEAS. It may take some time depending upon the time of year and volume of students requiring special accommodations to evaluate your documentation and needs. 


Once your file has been completed and SEAS has indicated so, you, the student, will be responsible for scheduling to meet with Brown Dining’s Registered Dietitian. Again, this may take some time depending upon the time of year and volume of students requiring special dietary accommodations.
The BDS Dietitian will work with each SEAS registered student to understand each student’s needs and will determine a reasonable limit to which we are able to accommodate you within our current meal plan and within the dining system.
Dining Services staff is able to safely and reasonably guide students with a limited number of food allergies to making their own food choices. Some food allergies and intolerances can be managed independently within the dining halls. We cannot accommodate for dietary preferences, however, we can provide students with information around our menus, recipes and ingredients, how to navigate the dining halls for options, and the resources to assist in making meal plan work.
*All retail locations on campus are considered areas that may contain peanuts, tree nuts and other allergens. Students should use caution when making selections at these locations.
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