Food Allergies

Brandeis Dining is proud to provide you with healthy and delicious options, regardless of your dietary restrictions. There are accommodations for various food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities in our daily options in both resident dining halls and retail dining locations on campus. We want to ensure you have safe and appealing dining options in an inclusive environment. Here we provide a brief summary of our program for the increasing number of students arriving on campus each semester with food allergies, celiac disease, or other dietary needs.

A team approach led by you is the best preparation for a safe school year. Please reach out to notify us of your allergies and keep us updated through-out your time at Brandeis. If we do not hear from you, we believe that you are successfully navigating the dining locations. 

Sesame Allergen Labeling

As part of our food allergy program, we label for major food allergens on our printed menu signs and online menus. We will label an item as containing sesame when the food manufacturer has chosen to disclose it as an ingredient in a product. Currently, manufacturers are not obligated to disclose sesame as an ingredient until January 2023.

This award-winning station is available in both Dining Halls and proactively addresses 7 of the top 8 food allergens that account for 90% of all food allergic reactions. Hot lunch and dinner at Simple Servings is prepared without peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, wheat, soy, milk, eggs, and gluten ingredients. Fish is included as a healthy protein choice. Simple Servings is always served by an Aller-Train certified employee using a fresh plate.
Sodexo's Simple Servings concept has been recognized as:
  • 2017 AllerTrain™ Best Food Allergy Innovation for Universities
  • 2013 Food Management’s Best Wellness Concept Winner
This residential dining “pantry” in both Dining Halls offers gluten-free, peanut-free, and tree nut free items including, but not limited to, bagels, muffins, snacks, desserts and condiments. A dedicated microwave, toaster, and utensils are also available to allow students to be involved in their own allergen-safe meal preparation. 
The My Zone in Lower Usdan requires swipe access to enter in order to help maintain the integrity of the space. Information on gaining access to the My Zone with your Campus ID card can be found HERE. 
The Hoot Market C-Store in the Usdan Student Center carries a wide assortment of snacks, ingredients, fresh food and prepared meals. Shop here for any type of dietary need and visit the allergen-friendly section for gluten and nut free snacking.

All Brandeis Dining managers and over one hundred supervisors and staff members have been AllerTrain certified, an ANSI (American National Standards Institute) accredited, manager level, food allergy and gluten-free training course designed for those who serve food in a college or university setting. This knowledge on proper methods for safely handling food to prevent cross contact is essential to everyday food preparation.

Medical/Disability Dietary Accommodation Requests

While Brandeis Dining strives to meet the medical/disability dietary needs of all students, those who need more than the standard provided by Brandeis Dining outlined above are encouraged to engage in the University’s process to request a medical/disability dietary accommodation via Student Accessibility Support


Our station menus and online menus for the Dining Halls also include key nutritional information. Look for the Mindful, Vegetarian and Vegan icons to also easily identify recipes that focus on wellness and other dietary preferences. 

The Bite App is also a valuable tool for viewing daily menus and assessing important nutritional information. Use the app to open a day's recipe to view ingredients and nutrients or customize the menu to your dietary preferences by filtering out specific allergens. 

Vegetarian-35x35.pngMenu items with the vegetarian icon contain no meat, fish or poultry, or any meat products such as soup base. Our vegetarian offerings meet the needs of lacto-ovo vegetarians and may include eggs and/or dairy products.

Vegetarian recipes are served in both Lower Usdan and Sherman Dining Halls daily at the designated vegan station. 

Vegan-35x35.pngVegan offerings contain no meat, fish, eggs, milk or other animal-derived products such as honey.

Vegan recipes are served daily in both Lower Usdan and Sherman Dining Halls at the designated vegan station. We are proud to serve recipes at this station from the U.S. Humane Society Forward Food Culinary Program. 

Our on-campus Kutz Bakeshop also produces vegan desserts on a daily basis.

In 2019, Brandeis Dining Services received an A on the PETA Vegan Report Card.

mindful-icon-35x32.pngMindful offerings support recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans without sacrificing delicious flavors and fulfilling portions. Chefs in our test kitchen develop recipes to meet these criteria in tasty fashion! Look for the Mindful icon to indulge in the healthy and delicious items offered at each meal.

Meet the Dietitians

Our dietitians, Nolan Reese and Nicole Caliendo, are a resource on topics such as: 

  • Learn about options available for food allergies, celiac disease, or other special dietary needs
  • Plant-Based Advocate: Share your input and insights with Nolan
  • Individual and group guided tours of the dining halls with recommendations for healthy eating 
  • Nutrition and wellness programming
Both, Nolan and Nicole, have a passion for empowering people of all ages to reach their healthiest potential through food and nutrition. They work with the Brandeis community to encourage healthy lifestyles and help individuals become more comfortable in their dining environment. Come meet Nolan and Nicole at one of their regular special events in the Dining Halls, or contact them at and

Nutrition Newsletter

Read our monthly Nutrition Newsletter, written by our Registered Dietitian and Nutritionists from around New England. The March edition of this newsletter can be found HERE.