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Allergies, Intolerances and Special Diets

Our nutrition staff is prepared to help you manage your allergy or intolerance; we are happy to work with you to identify and select appropriate food from our menu offerings or discover when you might need specially cooked meals.

Fill out our allergies form here to let us know of any special needs.

Here are a few highlights of the UMD special diets nutrition program:

purple zone

The Purple Zone is a station in 251 North and South Campus Dining Hall where the food is free of the eight most common allergens (dairy, peanuts/tree nuts, eggs, sesame, soy, fish, and shellfish) and gluten. Purple Zones are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner serving many of the same menu items found at other stations – allergen free.

Purple Zone menus change every meal and repeat after four weeks. Trained chefs wear purple chef coats and trained servers wear purple aprons

Purple Freezers are self-service stations in each dining hall that contain packaged entree and dessert items from popular brands such as Udi’s, Amy’s, Daiya and Enjoy Life. Food items in the Purple Freezer are NOT free from ALL top eight allergens + gluten: they are marked with the allergens that they do contain. A list of everything in the freezer and the allergens that they contain is posted on the inside of the freezer door. For example, Udi’s Sausage Cheese Lasagna is labeled – Gluten Free, Soy Free, Nut Free (contains egg and dairy).

To see what is on the menu each day at the dining halls, visit This website lists food served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at every resident dining location on campus. Filter your search by selecting the filter option in the top right and you will see information about food not containing the allergens you specify.

If you have been prescribed an Epi-Pen, we encourage you to carry it with you everywhere and at all times. In the event of an emergency, we have an Epi-Pen at each dining hall. Managers and supervisors are trained in their correct use. Again, for your own safety, if you have an Epi-Pen, please carry it with you.

For questions about Maryland Dining allergen services or program, reach out to our nutrition team. To arrange a meeting with our nutrition team for additional help and information, email us at We respond to requests in the order that we receive them.

If you are in a dining hall and want an immediate answer to a specific question, ask the manager or chef on duty. Front line servers may not be qualified to discuss specific allergen requests. There’s always a manager and chef on duty – ask the greeter at the front door to find them quickly.


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