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GFF College Dining Survey Responses

University of Tennessee



Survey Date:

Aug 25, 2022

Survey 1 of 2




Gluten Intolerance, Shellfish Allergy, Other (describe below)

Student's Summary Assessment:

College Dining:


Surrounding Area:


Rationale for Grades Given

If I were JUST gluten free it would be easier- FABULOUS meals! However, I have a long list including gluten, some dairy, raw vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, beans, legumes, beef, pork, and highs fat foods, it’s a bit harder for me to find food. They have SO much variety and *usually* I can find something. I had an initial meeting with the dietitian on campus who made me feel so comfortable, especially because there’s a menu online, so if I can’t find foods I can use my dining dollars at a campus restaurant, or find food right off campus. But most of the time the food on the menu is not served so I’m stuck eating lettuce because I used my meal swipe. I was also told I could just ask for a plain chicken breast, rice, or vegetables at any time- I have found this to not be true, and it’s absolutely embarrassing to when servers make you feel stupid for suggesting such a thing. Overall, when there’s food, it’s SO GOOD. But there’s equal times where I have to go without food. Because the website is false.

LOVE my town! Good golly tamale is dedicated GF and has the BEST ginger snap banana pudding! There’s some terrific Asian places with incredible options. We have a Trader Joe’s close by. We even have a GF donut shop!!!

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?

Very: React to small amounts

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

Gluten, most milk products, eggs (not cooked into anything), raw veggies, cruciferous veggies, beef, pork, lamb, shellfish, apples, highly processed foods, high fatty foods, and most or some of the time: vegetable skins, beans, legumes, tomato sauce, high soy products, corn syrup, and blue dye. These are all intolerances except shellfish, which is a mild allergy, due to unexplainable symptoms that could only be diagnosed as IBS, most likely caused by connective tissue malfunction in my intestines, caused by my Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Symptoms include pain, cramping, extreme bloating to the point I am unable to breathe, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, and brain fog, depending on which and how much of the trigger foods I eat. Shellfish allergy causes a slightly itchy throat and diarrhea. I do not carry an epi pen.

Details About this Student's College Dining Experience

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

Mostly what I expected

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


If Yes, describe each incident and how your school responded

It was partly my fault, they were serving both Turkey sausage and pork sausage. I accidentally went to the wrong station and ate pork sausage.

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

It is processed separately through the school dietitian. We met and discussed my options.

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

Yes. I can talk to the dietitian and chefs on campus about options, but the chefs are impossible to find.

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

Include the contained allergens on the food labels that already exist at each station.

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

Having some food groups, or food all together unavailable to me. I keep food from the grocery store stocked. I also cannot eat any of the breakfast served, other than fruit, so I eat breakfast on my own.

Advice for Incoming Students:


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

I asked for a private or shared bathroom, but was given a room with a community bathroom.

Dining Halls:

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

Always ask about allergens if you are’t sure! If food looks good and you want to eat it, ask so you aren’t missing out! My favorite dining hall is Stokely! The dining halls are fine, but the Panda Express and Canes have nothing for people avoiding gluten… just go to Chick-fil-A or somewhere off campus if you’re tired of the dining halls!

Meal Plans:

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

Freshman are required to select an unlimited 7 day meal plan with 300 dining dollars, or 5 day unlimited (no weekends) with 400 dining dollars.


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

Ask for an additional fridge if your roommate plans on keeping food and you have issues with CC! I always keep yogurt, protein bars, protein powder, frozen fruit, frozen grilled chicken, and rice on hand! I always keep sauces I love and salsa in my fridge as well so I can dress up boring grilled chicken if I need to! I use a rice maker for easy meals because other than a microwave, it’s the only cooking device allowed in dorms. My favorite snacks are popcorn, rice cakes with peanut butter, oranges, cinnamon chex, and tortilla Chips! I’m not totally sure about delivery, but there are amazing places that are walking distance from campus downtown!

Getting Started:

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

Look at your school’s online menu every few weeks, see what restaurants are in and around campus, chat with student disability services and the school dietitian, and make a list and easy meals you can make in a dorm, as well as snacks and things you’d want to keep in your room.


Advice on managing parties or dinners out with friends?



Any other advice or comments?

Nope! (:

Meal Plans:

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