Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) recently honored Michigan State University (MSU) with the inaugural Best Campus Dining Award. FARE strives to enhance the lives of individuals with food allergies through education, awareness and advocacy initiatives.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to be recognized with this inaugural award from FARE, one of the largest and most trusted food allergy organizations,” shared Kelsey Patterson, Registered Dietitian. “MSU Culinary Services remains dedicated to creating an inclusive dining experience for everyone and we look forward to continuing to innovate and expand dining options for individuals with food allergies and dietary needs.”
MSU is a leader in the university food allergy realm. In 2019, the first Certified Free From™ dining hall, Thrive, opened on campus in Owen Hall. Thrive has many unique aspects, including all-you-care-to-eat options at three distinct venues, desserts and a full soup and salad bar. Everything served is free from the Big 8 allergens (eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts and wheat) plus gluten.
Additionally, all remaining dining halls on campus offer an allergen-conscious station offering common substitutions, like gluten-free items and non-dairy selections. Menu signs at the point of service also list any potential allergens and restrictions tracked, including the Big 8 allergens, alcohol, beef, coconut, pork and sesame.
Two dining halls, Holden and Holmes, as well as our on-campus bakery, MSU Bakers, are nut-conscious facilities, where nothing served contains peanuts or tree nuts.
Beyond the dining halls, MSU enhances options for those visiting retail locations. MSU Concessions developed a venue at Spartan Stadium called Lower Bowl, where guests can build their own rice bowl, featuring chickpea and cauliflower blend. Beef and chicken are available as protein options, and every bowl is crafted without the Big 8 allergens plus gluten.
MSU Culinary Services has made it a priority to create an inclusive environment for all Spartans, which includes patrons with food allergies and dietary restrictions. We continue to discuss accommodations and strive to enhance our program, helping Spartans feel safe and well-nourished.
For a student perspective, check out a view from MSU junior Marissa Burk at youtube.com/watch?v=JN-j7IQBgU0. Additionally, for more information about nutrition and allergens at MSU, visit eatatstate.com/nutrition.