Simple Servings is Safe Servings

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Grilled mediterranean chicken with wild rice and sauteed rainbow swiss is one of the many options provided by Simple Servings at Holmes Dining Hall.

The University of Northern Colorado’s Holmes Dining Hall is dedicated to making sure that all students are able to consume the food they provide. Simple Servings, the allergen-free station at Holmes Dining Hall, has been improved.

Although the dining hall provides a variety of food stations to choose from, some students are limited on foods they can consume because of allergies. The Simple Servings station is free of the top nine allergens including milk, wheat, shellfish, tree nuts, sesame, eggs, soy, peanuts and gluten.

Simple Servings is regulated with the food being made in a separate area to avoid cross contamination, including its own cooking utensils and food storage. All stations are color coded and Simple Servings utensils are purple. The chefs who prepare the food for Simple Servings are properly trained on how to cook allergen-free food. 

Holmes Dining Hall has added another layer of protection to Simple Servings. The plates are now provided by a student worker to avoid contamination. The plates are brought out from the dish room and don’t touch any other station before being used. Simple Servings is not a self-serve station.

Joslyn Joseph, a sophomore studying musical theater, is allergic to gluten. He finds himself enjoying what the dining hall is providing.

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“The most stressful part of having allergies is trusting someone to ensure you have safe food,” he said. “Knowing they are taking strides to have safe food is comforting.”

Each time Simple Servings is open, it’s the chef’s responsibility to make sure the students understand the regulations and rules at the station. These rules include making sure that other food doesn’t come into contact with the Simple Servings counter space, properly washing hands, changing gloves after working at another station and using clean plates. To-go boxes that are provided by the dining hall cannot be used at this station. On top of those regulations, paper plates and plastic silverware can be provided if a student requests them. 

Students with allergies are instructed to talk to Matthew Doyle, a dietitian at Holmes Dining Hall. Doyle will work with students on their options, ensuring there is food they are able to eat. He also works with the chefs and student workers to make sure that everyone has food they can enjoy. 

“Students with any specific dietary needs are encouraged to come talk to me,” Doyle said. “I can educate them on the accommodations available to them.”

Holmes Dining Hall has many signs that lets students know there are allergy-free options available. Students are able to request specifically made food to the chefs, including gluten free pasta.

Students can use the Everyday App to see the ingredients in the food being served that day. This app is an easy way to look ahead at what will be served and all stations have signs indicating what allergens are present.

Students who have allergies are encouraged to reach out to the Disability Resource Center on its website or by phone at 970-351-2289.

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