Here’s what you need to know about diet accomodations in dining halls

Ryan Pattee


What it means: Veganism excludes the consumption of any animal products from someone’s diet. For example not eating eggs, cheese or milk. 

ISU Dining Accommodation: All dining centers on campus have some form of vegan food everyday, and Friley Windows has a section just for vegan dishes.

Celiac disease or living gluten free

What it means: Gluten is a substance that is found in most cereal grains. Celiac Disease is a disease that cause the immune system to have a reaction when an individual consumes gluten. Gluten free individuals choose to cut gluten from their diet for personal or health reasons.

ISU Dining Accommodation: While some students self manage when it comes to gluten-free food, they can check with the food card or chef if you have questions about the food in dining halls, or visit the Special Diet Kitchen at UDCC.


What it means: Kosher is a religious diet restriction in which food is sold, cooked or eaten according to Jewish law. This diet has restrictions based on the different kinds of meat, dairy, fruits etc. 

ISU Dining Accommodation: Like those living gluten-free most individuals self manage, and can use the Special Diet Kitchen if they wish.


What it means: Halal is meat that meets the standards for the Muslim religion. The animal that the meat came from must be properly slaughtered in order for it to meet the standards. 

ISU Dining Accommodation: Halal is identified in dining halls with a Blue box on the TV at the entryway to the dining hall or food cards.

Peanut/nut allergy

What it means: A peanut/nut allergy is when an individual has an allergic reaction to a kind of nut or peanut.

ISU accommodation: The ingredients can be found on the food cards, and foods containing peanuts or other nuts is kept away from other foods. 

The future of food restriction warnings:

“Were developing icons to point out that contains dairy, wheat, shellfish and will be implemented when the new site comes and we’re hoping that will help identify preferences and allegiances.” said Karen Rodekamp a manager for ISU Dining.

Rodenkamp also noted that utensils will be color coated to match with the proper food to avoid cross-contact. The colors will match the indicators for the foods and hopefully all will be implemented by January of next year.

Why is it important to keep food separate?

Even the slightest bit of contact from another food product can cause a reaction to those who are allergic.

“One incident was a sugar cookie that was peanut free happened to be on a tray next to peanut butter cookie. The sugar cookie had some peanut butter residue and that caused an allergic reaction,” said Mohammed Ali, director of ISU Dining. 

What happens if someone does have a reaction or consumes cross-contaminated food

“First would be to call 911 if they are having a reaction, then help them ideally. Hopefully they carry an epipen with them at all times,” said Lisa Nolting, a registered dietician at ISU Dining. Nolting also suggested that those who have a severe allergy never eat in the dining halls alone and has at least one person with them who knows about their allergy.

The Special Diet Kitchen:

The special diet kitchen allows students who have allergies or food restrictions to make, or eat food in a cross-contact free environment.

“Over 40 students utilize the Special Diet Kitchen- we’re learning that more students self manage allergens. However, we can at least provide them with the tools to keep them safe,” Rodekamp said.

This kitchen can be used only by request and those who do are asked to keep the as separate as possible. In order to apply to use the special diet kitchen, one would have to talk to Lisa Nolting.

“They need to meet with me, fill out some paper work, which you can get off of our website and they also need to submit documentation to me or the disability resource office,” Nolting said.