November 15, 2016

Blugold Dining Meeting the Needs of UWEC Students with Allergies

Blugold Dining Executive Chef Debbie Allen has become certified as an AllerTrain master trainer, making her an expert at serving UWEC students with food allergies and intolerances, as well as students with special dietary needs.

At Riverview Cafe, the all-you-care-to-eat cafeteria at the Hilltop Center, Allen plans the daily menu for nearly 3,000 students, some of whom have dietary restrictions, such as a gluten intolerance. She regularly meets with students who have allergies – and their parents – to determine what’s suitable within their diet, then she ensures specific food is available at Riverview Cafe so students don’t have to leave campus to eat.

Allen traveled this month to Denver for the Food Allergy Symposium for Industry, a gathering of food service stakeholders who specialize in food allergies. Her colleague, Blugold Dining Resident District Manager Christian Wise, will attend School Food Focus – Change Beyond the Plate – specializing in the need for fresh, local ingredients, in December in Braselton, Georgia. An Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Kevin Concannon, will be the keynote speaker at the conference. It’s all in the name of improving the quality of life of UWEC students.

“I’ve started to notice the change in eating habits among students and the growing number of people with allergies,” said Allen, who has spent 20 years with Sodexo, including the past four at UWEC. “I have an open-door policy, so students know they can come in, and we can sit down and work out the issue. We talk, listen and come up with a plan to make everyone comfortable with dining on campus.”

No comments: