Allergies, Food Intolerances and Special Diets

Message from our Nutritionist:

Anytime dining gives you unlimited access to three dining halls from the day you move in until the last days of finals. You can eat what you want, the way you want, selecting items and quantities from our many menu offerings. You can graze, eating small snacks throughout the day or you can enjoy your day’s food in a few larger meals. You can select fresh vegetables and lean protein or you can treat yourself to some of our popular treats. 

The key to a nutritious and enjoyable diet is to eat a variety of foods in amounts that are right for you. To help you make smart food choices, we post nutritional information for dining hall menu items at nutrition.umd.edu. The numbers on those pages are based on standard serving sizes and we recommend you fill your plate using USDA MyPlate guidelines. Whether you want to maintain your current weight, eat less fat, track sodium or sugars or cholesterol —  or simply eat well — you can make nutrition.umd.edu work for you!

If you have an allergy or food intolerance, you can have great Maryland Dining experiences! Our team welcomes the chance to work with you to identify and select appropriate food from dining hall menu offerings or discover what additional support you may need. Please fill out the form to the right to introduce yourself and identify your allergy or intolerance. We will get back to you as quickly as possible to make an appointment to discuss your options for Dining at Maryland.

We know that many Terrapins have strong dietary preferences. Some eat meat-free; some full time and some part time. To support these choices, we serve vegan and vegetarian food at all locations. To keep up with other preferences of the University community, the fresh chicken we purchase is certified Hallal, we offer food with locally sourced ingredients, and you can use our online tool to track your diet and compare it with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommendations. 

Please contact me at 301-314-8058 or email me at nutrition@umd.edu with any questions about our nutritious menu items.

Sister Maureen Schrimpe, IHM, FMP

Quality Coordinator and Nutritionist

Allergies and Intolerances

We take our responsibility for students with food allergies and intolerances very seriously. Our team has worked diligently to create a robust program that satisfies the requirements of our students and their guests. Dining Services and Maryland students partner in this effort and we look forward to providing you with many great Maryland Dining experiences.

The Purple Zone at 251 North – Cooks and serves food free of the top nine food allergens including dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (excluding coconut), fish, shellfish, soy, sesame, and gluten. The 251 Purple Zone includes a separate dedicated kitchen space and cooking equipment to prevent any allergen/gluten cross-contact.

The Purple Zone at South Campus Dining Hall – Serves food free of the top nine allergens including dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (excluding coconut), fish, shellfish, soy, sesame, and gluten. The South Campus Purple Zone is located in a shared kitchen environment with procedures in place to minimize the risk of cross-contact.

Purple Freezers – Each of the three campus dining halls has a dedicated, allergen-free self-service freezer, toaster and microwave in the serving area. The freezers contain pre-made entrée and dessert items from popular brands such as Udi’s, Amy’s Daiya, and Enjoy Life. These items are NOT free of all allergens. We suggest you regularly review the list on the inside of the freezer door as manufacturers can change specifications without notification.

Training – Our nutritionist is a certified master trainer with the AllerTrain program by MenuTrinfo. Over 150 chefs, culinary team members and managers have completed AllerTrain training. We will continue providing both AllerTrain and AllerLite training to new employees and refresher training to dining hall team members.

Standard practices – We work hard to limit human error and provide guests with information about the foods we serve. We create menus centrally and review them carefully to ensure accurate ingredients and instructions. Purchasing contracts include our refusing to accept  substitute products or brand names unless approved by the Senior Executive Chef. Menu labels on electronic menu boards and counter cards display ingredient icons indicating when an item contains an allergen in the recipe. Online menus list detailed ingredients and nutritional information. When a last minute change is necessary or when the chef is running a spontaneous special, labels include an advisory message to ask the chef on duty for ingredient information.

Habits – Team members receive annual food allergy training and take every precaution to prevent cross-contact during service, including using separate serving utensils for each food item and keeping service areas clean and sanitized.

Partnering with you – We can help you minimize exposure to allergens: talk with us about your allergies and intolerances. Each dining hall has a professional chef on site to answer questions about ingredients and food presentation. The Dining Services nutritionist is available for consultations. If you ask, your server will cheerfully change gloves and utensils before preparing your order. You can request that we serve you food from a fresh pan. 

Awareness – Dining Services makes every effort to identify ingredients, label food allergens and prevent cross-contact, however, there is the possibility that manufacturers of the commercial foods we use could change the formulation at any time and without notice. Additionally, food items prepared in shared kitchen spaces do pose some risk for cross-contact.

Guests with food allergies must be their own advocates and exercise caution at all times. Those who may need to use an Epi-Pen should carry their own Epi-Pen while dining.  Dining Services does not assume any liability for adverse reactions of foods consumed or for any cross-contact that can occur within a self-service venue.

Special Diets

Vegan/Vegetarian – Each dining hall has a dedicated vegan station – none of the food served at those stations contains animal products or animal byproducts. Many of the food items we serve in other stations are categorized as vegan or as vegetarian. Vegetarian food items may contain animal products that do not cause harm to the animal, like honey or milk.

Kosher – The Maryland Hillel Center is the only campus facility serving food prepared with Mashgiach oversight. Students living in traditional on-campus housing must purchase a full dining plan from either Dining Services or a Hillel Platinum Plan.

Halal – We offer a variety of menu items in all three dining halls that are appropriate for people following a Halal diet and we maintain a current file of Halal certifications. We are happy to offer a guide to these items and access to additional menu items. If you would like more information, contact our nutrition team.