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Brown Dining Services

Notice to Customers

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.

Food Allergies

Brown Dining Services understands the needs of food allergic students. Dining Services staff is able to safely and reasonably guide and accommodate students. Most 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, how to navigate the dining halls for options, and the resources to assist in making meal plan work.
Students with a single or few food allergies or dietary restrictions should be able to navigate the dining hall menus using the information in this section.
Menu, ingredient and nutritional information are made available weekly for the dining halls. Menus can be found at these links for the Refectory and Verney-Woolley. Weekly ingredient information is linked to from the left side of the menu webpages. Please note that recipes, which may include commercial mixes or dressings, for example, will have additional ingredients (i.e. sub-ingredients) which may not be printed on the ingredient cards.

Kitchen Areas & Dining Hall Serveries

Peanut and tree nut allergies are among the most common allergies reported among students. Brown Dining is NOT a peanut or tree nut free environment. While we do not use peanuts or tree nuts in the majority of our recipes, we do process nuts in our bakeshop, which creates the potential for cross contact and contamination. We also serve peanut butter from bulk containers: peanut butter is offered in both dining halls in designated areas throughout the year and summer. In addition, there is always the potential for food manufacturers to change their formularies. Many food manufacturers also label for: “may contain (particular) allergen”. We do not control for or carry over labeling of products by manufacturers that bear “may contain” or “processed in a facility that also processes” type of labeling. 

Guidance Available in Dining Halls

Brown Dining’s residential meal plan program, does not permit for individualized menus, however, we will work with the offices of Student and Employee Accessibility Services (SEAS, formerly DSS) to reasonably accommodate each student and will handle on a case-by-case basis. Our board plan menus have intentionally been developed to offer flexibility and variety to reasonably meet most dietary needs and preferences.
Dining Services staff is able to direct you to our dining hall menus and ingredients which should assist you in answering your question(s). We do not identify for allergens on our ingredient cards or menus, however, for allergens: peanut, tree nut, fish, and shellfish, we can reasonably guide you to the information so that you are able to make your own food choices. In the case of a severe and life threatening food allergy or one which substantially limits your food options, especially to wheat, soy, milk and eggs (ingredients much more difficult to identify), again, we recommend you register with SEAS.  

Sample Ingredient Card

Ingredient Card

Student Responsibility

Students with life threatening food allergies who may need to use an epi-pen should be carrying their own. Dining Services staff is NOT trained to administer epi-pens and CANNOT provide or administer them. Students should make appropriate people (i.e. roommates, friends, and/or Resident Advisors) aware of their conditions so people can react effectively should emergency medical services be needed.
Notify the offices of Student and Employee Accessibility Services (SEAS) of your dietary needs and accommodations prior to arriving on campus. Know that Dining Services cannot accommodate students without prior notification and documentation from SEAS. If you have a question about a specific menu item or recipe, please seek out the following individuals. These are the professional managers who have been trained to handle food allergy related questions in the residential dining hall facility.
If any of these individuals are unavailable to answer your questions, please use good personal judgment; make food selections on the side of caution; and if there is ever a question, please avoid consuming.
*Note: 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.

Food Allergy Disclaimer

Brown Dining Services makes every effort to accommodate the various dietary requirements of our customers and handles food allergies seriously. Every effort is made to instruct our staff regarding the potential severity of food allergies. Brown Dining Services staff consults individually with students with food allergies to minimize allergic reactions. Please be advised that our menu items may contain allergens, may have come in contact with items containing allergens, and there is always a risk of contamination or cross‐contact. In addition, the potential does exist, that food manufacturers may change their formulation or manner of processing without our knowledge. We do not guarantee the accuracy of nutrition information. Ingredient and nutrition content of foods may vary due to changes in product formulation, recipe substitutions, portion size and other factors. The nutrition analyses provided are approximations only. Customers with concerns need to be aware of these risks. Brown Dining Services will assume no liability for any adverse reactions that may occur in the dining facilities.
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