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GFF College Dining Survey Responses

Northeastern University



Survey Date:

Apr 21, 2024

Survey 1 of 1




Egg Allergy, Milk Allergy, Peanut Allergy, Tree Nut Allergy

Student's Summary Assessment:

College Dining:


Surrounding Area:


Rationale for Grades Given

Northeastern only has one station that is free of the top 9 allergens, but this station is only in one dining hall, has limited hours compared to other stations, and extremely limited options. It is not even open for breakfast. It only has one protein and one grain and one vegetable available as an "option" for each meal. The other stations are NOT safe for students with allergies, because the app where you can see the ingredients in each item is not accurate. I discovered this myself when I almost ate something that claimed it had none of my allergens. The manager explained to me that the dining hall workers can substitute ingredients or change menu items on a whim, making the ingredient list online useless.

Boston has a variety of grocery stores that have allergy-friendly items such as MadeGood. There are also a few places that are allergy friendly for dining (Jennifer Lees Bakery, etc)

Details About this Student's Food Restrictions

How many years ago were you diagnosed with food allergies or celiac disease?


If you indicated celiac or gluten intolerance, how sensitive are you to gluten?

Add details to help us better understand your food restrictions (e.g. sensitivity level, potential reaction, need for EPI pen)

Extremely severe allergies, need an epi pen, will react from even slightest amount of cross contamination

Details About this Student's College Dining Experience

Does your college handle food restrictions as you expected when you decided to attend?

Not at all what I expected

Have you had a reation from eating in your dining hall?


If Yes, describe each incident and how your school responded

Did you register your food restriction with the disabilities office? If yes, describe

Yes- they are very slow to process things, but I was able to get off the freshman required mealplan in my first semester.

Are there resources to help with nutritious, safe dining (e.g. dietician)? If yes, describe

There is a dietitian. She is nice but there is little she can do to help students with allergies, as there are literally no stations that are safe if you are allergic to more than peanuts/tree nuts and have severe ones.

If you were in charge of dining, what would you change? Would your school be open to suggestions?

Expand the allergen-free station to be open more hours, and have more than one option a day. Another option would be to not let dining hall workers change ingredients or replace menu items with similar ones so that the app online actually reflects what the real ingredients are. Or, warning students with allergies in advance and helping them get off the meal plan before they even come to school.

Describe your biggest challenge managing your food restrictions at college and how you deal with it

My freshman year I lost a ton of weight when I was on the meal plan, as the station had such limited hours and options. My biggest challenge was having to be on that horrible meal plan.

Advice for Incoming Students:


Did your food restrictions impact your housing decisions?  Any dorm recommendations

If you have severe food allergies try to get off the meal plan ASAP, possibly even before starting the semester, and move into a dorm with a kitchen.

Dining Halls:

Any advice for managing dining halls?  Favorite dining halls? Any to avoid?

International Village is the only one with the allergy-station. Also the workers are Stetson West are the worst for allergies- rude, uneducated, and I have had many friends get food poisoning or allergic reactions from eating there.

Meal Plans:

Describe your meal plans over the year(s). What's mandatory? Any suggestions? 

First year- the meal plan is mandatory. Try to get off of it with a kitchen accomodation through the Disability Resource Center.


Any advice for eating in the dorms? Favorite snacks? Places that deliver? 

Getting Started:

What should students do before school starts or when they first arrive?


Advice on managing parties or dinners out with friends?

Real friends are not going to judge you for having allergies and are going to understand if you are hesitant or anxious about eating out/drinking. Personally when my friends go out to eat, I don't feel comfortable ordering, so they will choose an appetizer they want and I'll pretend to order it for myself. Then I don't have to awkwardly tell the waiter I'm not ordering anything, and I can sit and socialize with my friends and feel like a normal person.


Any other advice or comments?

Meal Plans:

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