Colleges Required to Make Accommodations for Students with Food Allergies

College Dining Halls
College students (both current and future) with food allergies just got a little boost from the Justice Department. A recent settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and Lesley University has cleared up a few issues for colleges and how they need to manage food allergies on campus. Under the terms of this settlement, colleges must do more than simply provide allergen-friendly options in their dining halls. To be in compliance with the American Disabilities Act, this settlement sends the message that colleges need to:
  • ensure their Disability Services office (or similar department) addresses food allergies.
  • work with food allergic students to develop individualized meal plans.
  • provide reasonable modifications to students with food allergies.
  • display notices concerning food allergies and identify foods that contain specific allergens. 
  • allow students the option to pre-order meals.
  • provide students with food allergies a separate area to store and prepare food to avoid cross-contamination.
  • educate and train food service and staff about food allergies.
Current and prospective college students with food allergies should expect a dining experience comparable to that of their fellow students. I think this settlement settles it.
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