Special Concerns

Many of our guests have specialized dietary concerns including severe food allergies or celiac disease and require food and service to be clear of allergen cross-contact (when one food comes into contact with another food and their proteins mix).

In the self-service environment of multiple food stations along with the variety of ways food is prepared, UNH Dining has additional provisions in place to attend to the needs of guests with specialized needs or food allergies, starting with several self-navigation tools and additional support options as noted below.

Self-Navigation Tools

These options can help all guests locate items suitable for their needs. 

Proactive planning is an important part of safely navigating the dining options. To help you find appropriate meal options, Dining provides several ways to learn more about the food being served.

  • Preview Menu Items - Preview dining hall menu items, allergens, and other information on our cycle menus for all the dining hall food stations posted 10 days at a time. Preview options can be accessed through the UNH Dining website or the UNH mobile app.
  • Check the Icons - Picture icons represent items designated as vegan, vegetarian, Gluten-Friendly, Halal and Guiding Stars ratings.
  • Check the Allergen Information -  Allergen information shows in text format on the web menus and mobile app for items containing any of the top 9 allergens (milk, egg, fish, shellfish, peanut, tree nut, wheat, soy, sesame) as well as gluten, pork and alcohol.
  • Use the Set Filters View Settings - Optional filter view settings for menus (by allergen, gluten) at our UNH Dining website or the UNH mobile app.
  • Check Full Ingredients of Recipes
    •  Available on the web page view of a day’s menu. Choose the "Analyze Menu" button by any meal header and then click on the name of any listed menu item to reveal ingredient information and nutrition facts based on the standardized recipes.
    • On the UNH mobile app select "Dining", select "Menus by Location" (then choose date and meal period) and select "Nutritional Info". Click on name of any menu item (this reveals nutrition facts, full ingredients, and allergen status).
  • Create a Meal Report - Nutritional analysis and full recipe ingredients option to create a meal report or get Nutrition Facts and full ingredients/allergens for specific recipes.

  • Learn about the Everyday ItemsInformation for everyday items (breads, dressings, items at specialty bars, etc.) are available and inquiries about specific products, brands, manufacturer ingredients and allergen status can be addressed by asking for a supervisor or manager on site or the dietitian. We are happy to provide tours in our kitchens and storage areas as well. Further notations:
    • Non-dairy milk options available as well as lactose-free milk.
    • Peanut butter, Nutella, walnuts contained in one area.
    • Pesto purchased does not contain pine nuts; Pad Thai recipes use sunflower seeds instead of peanuts.
  • Talk with the Dietitian – if you want assistance in navigating dining options, please contact at 603-862-2583.

Dining provides additional options to help you navigate your dining options when in the dining halls.

  • Access the Digital Menu Boards - Located at food stations in the dining halls to identify menu items and information such as portion size, some nutrition facts, vegetarian, or vegan status, any of the top 9 potential allergens, pork, alcohol, Halal, gluten status, and Guiding Star rating. Information is generated from standardized recipes with specific ingredients and procedures. For full ingredient information always ask or refer to the UNH mobile app, Dining menus under "Nutrition Info" or ask a supervisor or Manager.  
  • Ask for Assistance – if you have questions or need assistance, please ask any dining hall staff member to speak to a supervisor, manager, dietitian or chef.

As a standard feature within Holloway Commons and Philbrook dining halls, UNH offers both Allergen-Friendly and Gluten-Friendly self-serve stations.

  • Allergen-Friendly Stations – Hollloway Commons and Philbrook Hall
    Featuring a rotating menu of selections prepared with ingredients that do not contain gluten or the 9 most common food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soybean, and sesame. Please note, these stations are open to all guests. To reduce the risk of allergen cross-contact guests are guided to use an empty, clean plate when choosing selections and to keep food from other stations away from this area. As a self-serve food station, the risk of cross contact exists. For strict allergen concerns please ask a manager who can assist you and see the section below, "Requesting Any Menu Item with No Cross Contact ".
  • Gluten-Friendly Supplemental Stations Holloway Commons and Philbrook Hall
    These self-serve stations feature supplemental items including a refrigerator/freezer with an assortment of gluten-free packaged products such as gluten-free breads, desserts, individually portioned peanut butter, cream cheese, jelly, and more. These areas also have some dedicated equipment for gluten-friendly use only. As a self-serve food station, the risk of cross contact exists. For strict allergen concerns please ask a manager who can assist you and see the section below, "Requesting Any Menu Item with No Cross Contact ".

For guests with food allergies or celiac disease, safe meal preparation requires elimination of specified allergens and no cross-contact (one food touches or mixes with another food and their proteins mix) and the self-service environment adds a potential hazard of cross-contact. For concern with cross-contact please follow these precautions:

  • Reviewing all Menus -  Review regular and scheduled special event menus for full ingredients and allergen information via the UNH mobile app or Dining web menus to determine food choices that suit your needs.
  • Ask for Assistance and Separate Portions - When you arrive to a dining hall ask for a supervisor, manager, or chef and inform them of your food allergy or specific need. One will meet you and obtain portions of your designated items using separate utensils from back up items that have not come in contact with the self-service line. Additionally, separate pans and utensils are available for our Stir Fry and Omelet stations for allergen needs and/or vegetarian and vegan requests.
  • Request Accommodations Students with food allergies or other conditions that may impact dining are encouraged to register for accommodations through Student Accessibility Services (SAS).

Epinephrine Pens Policy – All dining halls have on site 2 adult-dose epinephrine pens for anaphylaxis emergency use by trained personnel.

  • In 2015 the state of New Hampshire brought into law Senate Bill (SB) 194 and guidance was provided by the NH Department of Health and Human Services to post-secondary educational institutions for policy development in accordance with this bill – for the emergency administration of epinephrine by trained personnel to a member of the campus community for anaphylaxis when a licensed campus medical professional is not available.
  • UNH Dining at the University of New Hampshire chose to be an active participant for ease of access of emergency epinephrine in collaboration with UNH Health & Wellness to create a department policy to implement this program for the dining halls and to purchase epinephrine auto-injectors for quicker access to epinephrine in case of a food- allergic emergency.
  • As always, it is important for guests with food allergies prescribed with their own epinephrine pen to have it with them all the time.
  • Disclaimers - Food-allergic guests and those with specific nutrition concerns should speak with a dining hall manager and the Registered Dietitian for individual assistance and as needed, request accommodations through Student Accessibility Services (SAS).
    • It is the responsibility of guests with food allergies and those with specific nutrition concerns to make the final judgement on whether or not to question ingredients, procedures, or choose to eat the foods selected.  
    • While UNH Dining does not have gluten-free nor allergen-free kitchens and main serving lines (dining hall and retail locations), we strive to meet all of our guests’ needs by providing as much information as possible about food ingredients, preparation standards, and how our facilities can accommodate specific nutritional needs.
    • Ingredients and nutritional content may vary. Manufacturers may change their product formulation or consistency without our knowledge and product availability may fluctuate. While we make every effort to identify nutrition data and allergen information, we cannot assure against contingencies.
    • “Gluten-Friendly” - an item prepared without gluten ingredients. These items are noted on station menu boards, web menus and UNH mobile app with the green GF logo.  For items prepared by our staff, manufacturer ingredient labels have been reviewed and some do not have a certified gluten-free seal and cross-contact risk exists. If desired, please request product ingredient labels for final review.
    • “Allergen Friendly” - foods prepared exclusively with ingredients that do not contain gluten nor the 9 most common food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soybean, and sesame at the Allergen Friendly food stations. Care is taken and best practices followed using designated, separate utensils and ingredients. Although precautions are taken when preparing these items, they are still prepared in a facility which uses multiple ingredients in the production of other dishes. While precautions and procedures will greatly reduce risk, the possibility of cross-contact still exists.
    • Self-serve food stations run the risk of cross contact. For strict allergen concerns please ask a manager who can assist you in obtaining additional food options.

Additional Support

Reach out to set a meeting with the Registered Dietitian at UNH Dining to learn all the options to safely dine in our foodservice operations: 603-862-2583.

  • If you have food allergies, celiac disease, or other special dietary need, and would like to request accommodations, please contact Student Accessibility Services. SAS can assist you in navigating the three-step accommodation process (register with SAS, submit documentation, meet with SAS).
  • Guests seeking additional meal accommodations such as custom meal ordering or individualized menus are required to register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) and provide the appropriate documentation.
  • The process for initiating is the responsibility of the student and is an interactive, collaborative process between the student, Dining Services (dietitian, chef, managers) and Student Accessibility Services.
  • Once pre-approved by SAS, meal accommodation options are individualized and may include personalized menus or pre-ordering options.