Nutrition and Allergens

Culinary Services (CS) strives to nourish, inspire and enrich our Spartan community. Our staff is dedicated to safely serving those with dietary restrictions as well as individuals looking to make healthier choices. Whether you are an MSU student, attending a summer camp or visiting campus, our dietitian is a valuable resource for those looking to learn more about navigating MSU's dining options. From meeting with students to discuss their dietary needs one on one, to posting our menus online with allergens indicated, we are committed to helping our Spartans thrive.

Kelsey Patterson                   

Kelsey Patterson, RD


Update Regarding the Big 9 Allergens

In April 2021, sesame was declared a major food allergen in the U.S. It will join eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts and wheat as an ingredient that must be specifically called out on food packaging. Manufacturers have until Jan. 1, 2023, to identify sesame on the ‘contains’ line of a food label.

How MSU Culinary Services is Responding

In order to ensure that MSU allergen tagging for sesame is accurate, our team will be reviewing ingredient labels and communicating with vendors and manufacturers regarding the change. During this time, please note sesame will not be tagged as an allergen on our menu signage. It will, however, be listed on MSUtrition for any menu item prepared with an ingredient that includes sesame.

If you have any questions, please contact the MSU Culinary Services Registered Dietitian at


Health and Wellness Resources

Culinary Services offers a variety of selections and resources, enabling guests to achieve a balanced diet based on individual dietary needs. This includes options that are comprised of a wide range of nutrients. Our Registered Dietitian is available to meet with students to discuss dietary needs and goals, as well as resources for achieving them. To contact Kelsey Patterson, please send an email to



MSUtrition allows you to plan and track your meals, view nutritional content and ingredients for Eat at State menu selections, and filter menu options based on your allergies and dietary preferences. This helpful PDF will walk you through how to use the site.

Culinary Services makes every effort to thoroughly train our staff and label food allergens; however, please note that ingredients and nutritional content may change due to recipe substitutions, manufacturing changes or other outlying factors. Please be aware that food items are prepared in a shared kitchen and do pose a risk for cross contact.  

Food Allergies, Intolerances, Celiac Disease and Other Dietary Restrictions

Culinary Services takes food allergies and dietary restrictions seriously. We encourage individuals with dietary restrictions to contact our CS dietitian at to discuss needs. Our dietitian can provide tools and resources to help navigate campus, as well as answer questions and facilitate meetings with the culinary team. We highly encourage reviewing the Dietary Accommodations Policy, which outlines procedures for accommodating those with food allergies or medically documented dietary restrictions or needs.

  • Thrive
    Located within Owen Hall in River Trail Neighborhood, Thrive is certified free from the Big 8 allergens (egg, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts and wheat) plus gluten. Kitchens with Confidence, a third-party auditor, reviews and approves all ingredients and recipes used within Thrive. Regular allergen testing is performed by Thrive team members and results are sent to Kitchens with Confidence monthly. Thrive is by no means the only location those with dietary restrictions can visit, as all dining halls successfully accommodate those with dietary needs daily. Thrive accepts campus dining plans or pay at the door options, and is all you care to eat. Hours of operation can be found on the Dining Hours page.
  • Signage
    Menu signs are posted at the points of service. Under the menu item name, there will be a 'contains' line listing any potential allergens/restrictions. Our menu signs track:
    • Big 8 allergens (egg, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts and wheat)
    • Alcohol
    • Beef
    • Coconut
    • Gelatin
    • Pork
    • Vegan
    • Vegetarian
  • Please note we only label allergens when they are physically present. If an ingredient list includes any of the following claims, the allergen is not labeled; however, information is available in the ingredient lists found in MSUtrition. Chefs and dining managers are available for any ingredient or allergen questions.

    Produced on the same line as = no allergen

    Produced in the same facility as = no allergen

    May contain = no allergen

  • Nut Conscious
    The Edge at Akers and Holmes Dining Halls in East Neighborhood and Holden Dining Hall in South Neighborhood, as well as MSU Bakers are nut conscious. This means everything served from the venues in The Edge at Akers, Holmes and Holden Dining Halls do not contain peanuts or tree nuts. Any items coming from MSU Bakers are not made with peanuts or tree nuts. Coconut is allowed. Please know that peanuts and tree nuts are still in the kitchens, as they are available in self-serve areas, such as the salad bar or almond milk.
  • Allergen-conscious Areas
    Each dining hall, except for Thrive, includes a designated allergen-conscious area that contains gluten-free bread, wraps, muffins, cookies, cereal and other alternatives. Dairy-free yogurt, soy milk, almond milk and rice milk are offered as dairy-free alternatives. Individually wrapped condiments and dressings are available to help prevent cross contact from serving lines.
  • Other Dietary Restrictions
    Culinary Services has served guests with a variety of dietary needs, including but not limited to: metabolic conditions like diabetes, textured modified diets (mechanical soft foods, soft foods, etc.), low iodine and renal disease, among others. For more information about dietary accommodations, please contact the CS Dietitian at

Religious Dietary Restrictions

  • Kosher
    Culinary Services offers Kosher meal service at Brody Square and The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips. Kosher meal service typically found at The Vista at Shaw is being temporarily relocated to The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips effective Sunday, Sept. 26. Service is available Sunday through Thursday for dinner in fall semester 2021.

    To accommodate Kosher rules, all foods served through the program are prepared in a Kosher Kitchen at Woody’s Oasis restaurant in East Lansing. The program is certified by Kosher Michigan. MSU’s Kosher meal service program was developed in partnership with Rabbi Jason Miller of Kosher Michigan, Cindy Hughey, director of the East Lansing Hillel Jewish Student Center, and Chuck Raad, principle owner of Woody’s Oasis.

    During Passover, we offer canned tuna, hard-cooked eggs, matzo crackers, and packaged sliced meats that are Kosher-certified for Passover. Single-service disposable dinnerware is also available upon request. MSU Hillel typically offers meal options as well. Please contact them for the most up-to-date information.
  • Halal
    Culinary Services offers meal items to accommodate students requiring Halal dining options. A dining hall in each neighborhood will offer Halal proteins for dinner. Halal proteins will be designated as ‘Halal’ in the menu item name. Vegan choices are available daily to supplement Halal options in our dining halls.

Vegan and Vegetarian

Culinary Services has a wide variety of options across campus and there are a number of things we do to support a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. Here on campus, we follow the guidelines of an ovo-lacto vegetarian. The menu signs at the points of service will have one of the following icons if the menu item is vegan or vegetarian:

Vegan icon    Vegetarian icon

We have several venues across campus that are dedicated to offering plant-based menu items. Other residential dining halls, while not in a dedicated venue, will offer complete vegan meals daily. They can be easily identified by referencing the icons above on menu signs or through MSUtrition.

  • The Vista at Shaw: Garden
  • The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips: Garden
  • South Pointe at Case: Veg Out
  • Brody Square: Veg Out
  • Holmes Dining Hall: Veg Out

Retail Locations and MSU Concessions

  • Fresh Start
    Located near section 122 at the Breslin Student Events Center, Fresh Start offers nutritious options, like a chicken Caesar wrap, veggie quinoa wrap, southwest kale salad, protein or hummus pack, Naked Juice and more.
  • Lower Bowl
    Located in the south end zone at Spartan Stadium, Lower Bowl is an allergen-friendly venue. Menu items are made without the Big 8 allergens plus gluten. Guests can build their own rice bowl, featuring chickpea and cauliflower blend, beef and chicken as the protein selections. The bowl can be topped with sweet potatoes, peppers and onions, or diced tomatoes. In addition, fans can select from various sauce options.


Awards and Recognitions

  • 2020 Best Allergy Innovation for Universities from AllerTrain™
  • 2017 Best Overall Food Allergy Program Award from AllerTrain™
  • 2015 FARE Leaders in Foodservice Award