Colleges start offering gluten-free options to students

Dietary restrictions can be extremely crucial for many individuals to adhere to. Allergies and other medical issues often hinder which foods can safely be consumed, and it’s important for customers to understand what their options are.

College students who are dependent on dining hall options can have an especially difficult time. The Boston Globe recently highlighted several institutions that are expanding their food options for students, including menu items that are gluten-free.

According to the news source, Lesley University was recently ordered by the U.S. Department of Justice to “continually provide” students with gluten-free dining options and pay $50,000 in damages to ensure the university is in compliance with a federal law that protects people with disabilities.

Different schools have different approaches. The University of Massachusetts Boston and Boston University have gluten-free zones in their dining areas while Tufts University provides a special freezer unit in its two dining halls stocked with those kinds of foods. The refrigerators remain locked and only students with special dietary needs are given keys.

UMass Amherst lists menu options online, and specifies gluten-free items with a special icon. Additionally, the university offers handouts that explain to students what foods to avoid and whom to contact if students need foods without gluten.

“Gluten, it’s in so many things,” Patricia Klos, ­director of dining services at Tufts, told the news source. “We need to know that the person who needs the accommodation is getting the item.”

Food companies and organizations that depend on accurate food labels need to ensure that the right nutritional information is correctly posted. By investing in a Primera LX900 color label printer, businesses can be sure that labels for natural foods are able to accurately show customers which foods have gluten and which do not.

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