Food Allergies and Special Diets in Residential Dining 

The residential dining services team is well-trained in food allergy awareness and offer a number of options for students with food allergies and celiac disease. This includes communication about and modification to existing menu items, special preparation of menu items, and access to special products as agreed upon with students. 

A variety of meal plans are offered to fit into each students’ schedule and lifestyle. We are committed to working with all students to find ways to ensure that the facilities on campus can be enjoyed by everyone. Individuals with food allergies should be aware that we handle and prepare peanut, tree nut, fish, shellfish, soy, egg, milk, wheat/gluten, sesame and other potential allergens in our dining halls, eateries, and kitchens. We menu dishes prepared with these items and advise diners with allergies to do following: 

  1. Pay attention to dish names and descriptions. Dishes made with common allergens often include the top allergens in the name of each dish or a description on the menu. Our team can also share labels from any products for your review.

  1. Check Online Menus. Daily menus for each café can be accessed at https://mit.cafebonappetit.comThis link opens in a new window. Menu items that are appropriate options for most students with celiac disease are labeled as “made without gluten-containing ingredients” and can be filtered to streamline searching using the dietary preferences filter. Top-9 allergens are included in menu names and/or descriptions whenever possible.

  1. Try the OASIS station. Oasis is a destination in Howard Dining Hall at Maseeh where all meals prepared are made without the use of the Top-9 allergens* and gluten. OASIS is a segregated station designed with your safety in mind and allows our team to best manage ingredients from delivery to plate.  All meals are prepared on designated equipment by a trained culinarian to avoid cross-contact. Oasis has expanded to offer made to order salads in addition to the hot and cold entree selections. 

  1. Try the Global station. Next to the Oasis station at Maseeh, we offer our global-inspired Bowls station, where all the menu items will be prepared without peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, and seafood. This cook-to-order station features daily specials that rotate between various globally cuisines from Mediterranean to Barbecue and Korean-inspired bulgogi classics. 

  1. Avoiding Gluten?  Our Avoiding Gluten station provides breads, pastries, cookies, condiments, snacks, cereals, and other items that are without gluten-containing ingredients in all six residential dining houses.

  2. Establish relationships with our chefs and dietitian. Simple conversations with chefs can make your dining experience a lot easier. Discuss your allergies with the chef manager or MIT Dining as early in the semester as possible. Further questions about ingredients can be answered by our trained managers/chefs on-site and our Residential Dietitian, Pina Boatwright, MS, RD, LDN, Senior Wellness Coordinator.

    For more on eating with a food allergy in our café, visit https://mit.cafebonappetit.com/#food-allergiesThis link opens in a new window.

    *Sesame is now the 9th major allergen. However, manufacturers have until 1/2023 to update package labels. Our platform will exclude added sesame in the form of seeds, tahini (sesame paste), and sesame oil, but sources of sesame may not be detectable on package labels. Please speak with our resident dietitian or a manager if you have a sesame allergy. 

Individuals with food allergies or celiac disease who would like to request an accommodation on the basis of disability should please contact Disability and Access Services (DAS), das-all@mit.eduThis link opens in a new window, to discuss any concerns related to medical conditions or food allergies. Additionally, MIT Dining’s Residential Dietitian Pina Boatwright, MS, RD, LDN | Senior Wellness CoordinatorThis link opens in a new window

Students with special diets can also be seen by a student health professional at MIT MedicalThis link opens in a new window and receive a referral to the MIT Medical nutritionistThis link opens in a new window. Read more about special diets and house dining meal plansThis link opens in a new window.

Vegetarians and Vegans 

All House Dining locations offer vegetarian and vegan menusThis link opens in a new window. Vegetarian and vegan food production is handled in ways to avoid cross-contact with meat products. Retail dining locations also offered varied menus. 

Eating Safely Team (E-S-T)

Are you interested in food safety as it relates to allergens?  If so, consider joining the Eating Safely Team, a group focused on food allergies in dining halls, which meets once per month. If you are interested in participating, please reach out to foodstuff@mit.edu