Last year a survey was conducted by Aramark, a Philadelphia-based provider of food services, to 1,500 college students at over 400 colleges. They found that 4% had gluten intolerance, while an additional 5% avoid gluten for other reasons, including a perceived health benefit.
Schools are challenged to catering to the needs of gluten-free students. As reported, unlike peanut allergies, where labeling has been the norm for decades, going gluten-free challenges schools by requiring them to inspect ingredient labels for seemingly innocuous items like soy sauce, which is not gluten-free, and to prevent contamination from everyday foods like toast or bagels.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Pennsylvania State University has a separate dining hall for gluten-free students with a separate toaster and refrigerator. The University of California at Los Angeles requires students seeking gluten-free foods to provide medical documentation to gain keycard access to a 140-square foot pantry.
Universities typically charge gluten-free students the same meal plan price even though the prices are more expensive.
Posted on Wed, August 8, 2012
by Maureen Stanley filed under