From 1997 to 2011, the number of children with food allergies increased by 50 percent. Now, those children are leaving home and enrolling in campus meal plan programs. It’s critical for food service operators to be prepared to serve these students, safely.
Colleges and universities may be legally obligated to address food allergies. Students with celiac disease and other food allergies are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Even if your campus is not required by law, there are three very important reasons to tackle the issue of food allergies. Effectively addressing food allergies takes five steps and we can help you along the way. It’s worth the steps to achieve “Allergen Awareness.”
Three Reasons Your Campus Dining Program Needs Allergen Awareness
1. Allergen Awareness Puts Parents at Ease
When parents walk into a campus dining hall and see an “allergen safe zone,” they know the school is taking food allergies seriously. Putting parents at ease is the biggest win for the campus food service program. They feel more comfortable sending their student to a school that acknowledges the issue and provides a good solution.
The Allergen Awareness program at Tulane University is so popular that it was featured on a TV news segment in New Orleans. You can see Hubert’s Allergen Awareness tools in the segment. Scroll down to watch the clip.
Allergen Awareness Tools
Purple is the universal color for Allergen Awareness. Hubert offers hundreds of purple items for back-of-house food prep and cooking as well as display items to help students identify allergen-free foods. Here are some of the Allergen Awareness tools used by Tulane University in their TV news cooking segment.
Cleaning: Broom, Microfiber Towel
2. Allergen Awareness Provides Security for Students
At most colleges, a meal plan is mandatory for at least the first year on campus. If they are not confident about the ingredients used in meal preparation, a student with food allergies may decline to eat rather than risk an allergic reaction.
3. Allergen Awareness has Broader Appeal
All allergen awareness program appeals to a broader generation of students who want to have healthy options. Many of our clients who offer allergen-free stations sell out of those foods because they contain clean, wholesome ingredients.
I recently attended a culinary conference at Tulane University for Sodexo’s Simple Servings program, which provides solutions for students with food allergies. The Allergen Awareness program there is so popular that Tulane chefs were recently featured on a news segment. Hubert’s purple products for Allergen Awareness were used to highlight their menu of 300 allergen-free dishes.
Millennials crave uniqueness and transparency. It guides their decisions about where to go, what to buy, and of course, what to eat. At Hubert, we’re working with professionals like you every day to satisfy students and creating dining destinations on campus. This new resource is full of trends and tools to make the next school year your best. Request your copy: www.hubert.com/education