Michigan State University has announced it will be opening a new dining hall this fall that will cater to students with food allergies and intolerances. All food served in the hall will be free of the “Top 8” allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, milk, soy, eggs, wheat, fish, crustacean shellfish), sesame and gluten.
The hall will have stations for comfort food, street food and other fare such as chicken tenders and fries.
Staff will be required to follow strict safety guidelines including donning lab coats and the kitchen will be routinely tested for allergen trace.
Dietitian Gina Keilen says MSU is opening the new dining hall because a growing number of students have dietary restrictions.
I do find it becoming more and more prevalent. More and more people are reaching out for requests, not only just in numbers but in complexity.
I’ve been able to meet with several incoming students and their parents along the way of those that have dietary restrictions and even some of them bringing tears to their eyes with the reassurance that they will be able to eat successfully with us and they can trust us to serve their Spartans safely.
The new hall — dubbed “Thrive” — will undergo an audit by Kitchens with Confidence, a service based in Fort Collins, CO.
Founder and CEO Betsy Craig describes the audit as follows:
We go from loading dock to table top to ensure safe food preparation and delivery free from specific allergens and gluten. We’ll review each product served or used in the dining hall, perform a physical in-person inspection, and require regular allergen testing to ensure MSU maintains our Certified Free From™ status for Thrive.
Assuming the new dining hall passes the audit and receives its certification, it will open for business on July 8.
Here is video coverage from the Spartan Newsroom of the event: