Dining Safely with Allergies in UBC’s Residence Dining Rooms
UBC Food Services does not have allergen-free facilities.
We cannot guarantee that food prepared on-site has not become cross-contaminated with allergens, and do not assume any liability for adverse reactions. The common allergens identified on our labels are based on ingredients listed in the recipe, and may change due to ingredient or supplier substitutions.
UBC Food Services is committed to accommodating students with allergies on the Residence Meal Plan.
While we do not have allergen-free facilities and cannot guarantee a completely allergen-free environment – there is always a risk of cross-contact, especially at self-serve stations – we work to minimize the risk of exposure, encourage self-responsibility, strive to provide the most up-to-date information and plan an effective response to possible emergencies.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
A team approach, led by you, our educated customer, is the best preparation for a safe academic year free of allergic reactions. Take these steps throughout the year to ensure a safe dining experience:
CONNECT WITH THE RD
Connect with Melissa Baker, our Residence Dietitian. She will help you find safe, delicious and nutritious menu choices and introduce you to your dining room manager and chef.
You will meet a lot of new people throughout the year and many will be unaware of your allergy. Medical identification, such as MedicAlert, can provide important information in an emergency.
CARRY YOUR EPIPEN
Carry your EpiPen with you at all times. It is also recommended to carry a second EpiPen in case a second dose of epinephrine is needed in the event of an anaphylactic reaction.
Tell your Resident Advisor, roommates, floormates, teammates, friends, etc. about your allergy, how to recognize symptoms of a reaction, what to do, and where you keep your EpiPen.
ASK BEFORE YOU EAT
Always tell your server about your allergy before ordering. Ingredients can vary at any given meal. If you have any questions about ingredients or preparation, ask to speak with a chef or manager before placing your order.
WHAT WE DO
UBC Food Services takes food allergies very seriously. We understand the importance of providing nutritious choices that meet your dietary needs. Together, we can create a safe and exceptional dining experience for you.
Most menu items in Gather, Feast and Open Kitchen are labelled with ingredients, priority allergens* and nutrition information. This information can be found on menu boards or product tags in the dining rooms and online.
It can be helpful to check for allergens online prior to arriving, but always verify allergens on location as ingredients can change with short notice. We have a substitution protocol in place to minimize the risk of unidentified allergens in our menu items, if, for example, our suppliers are short on a regular product and substitute a different one.
Our labels list allergens from “Contains” statements on ingredient lists but omit allergens from “May contain” statements because our dining rooms and kitchens may also contain these ingredients. “May contain” statements are optional for manufacturers to provide and therefore their inclusion on a label or not does not equate with risk to the food allergic customer.
*Priority allergens include milk, eggs, wheat, soy, sesame, mustard, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, sulphites and gluten.
Gather, Feast and Open Kitchen are the best places for students with allergies to eat on campus, as the staff get more support and training than other locations. Our full-time Food Services staff are provided with allergy training upon hire and once every year following. Chefs, supervisors and management undergo mandatory allergy certification from AllerTrain™ to understand the seriousness of allergies, how to safely accommodate students and what to do in the event of an allergic reaction.
Arrangements can be made if your dietary needs cannot be met with daily menu offerings. Gather at Place Vanier has a station called Simply Local serving foods prepared without the following food allergens: milk, eggs, wheat, soy, sesame, mustard, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, and gluten. It is still imperative to check labels before ordering.
All three of our dining rooms have a fridge in the supervisor’s office stocked with gluten-free bread and a few other items. This allows you to independently access gluten-free food items as well as a dedicated toaster, knife and cutting board in each office as needed. Please note that we do not recommend students with celiac disease live in a residence with a meal plan due to the limited capacity of UBC Food Services to fully accommodate these students.