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GFF College Dining Survey Responses

University of Tennessee



Survey Date:

Feb 13, 2024

Survey 1 of 3




Gluten Intolerance, Milk Allergy, Wheat Allergy

Student's Summary Assessment:

College Dining:


Surrounding Area:


Rationale for Grades Given

The quality of the food I could eat without reaction was terrible. Mostly processed and difficult to obtain. Cafeteria staff very unknowledgeable about allergies.

There are places that have GF , dairy and vegan options in the area, but again without a car and on a budget made it usually unattainable.

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?

Moderate: React sometimes

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

My sister has celiac. I don’t, but I get very sick when I have any significant amounts of dairy or gluten. Usually severe stomach pains, bloating and bad diarrhea. No epi pen or hospitalization.

Details About this Student's College Dining Experience

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

Somewhat 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

No. Didn’t realize that was an option. Once I saw the options, I didn’t bother. I look back now and I should have reached out to someone.

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

Yes, but again I didn’t know that until I was there for a few months. By that time I was so turned off by the dining hall experience, I didn’t even bother.

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

I would provide allergy options in separate area of dining facility. All staff would be very knowledgeable of all allergies, especially celiac.

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

Finding food that wouldn’t make me sick. I didn’t have a car or a kitchen so going food shopping for food that was safe made eating very challenging. Consequently I ate food that wasn’t safe and got sick a lot.

Advice for Incoming Students:


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

I went abroad fall semester freshman year to London and was the healthiest I have ever felt! I didn’t have a choice of dorm. I wasn’t home in the US 1 week and started feeling sick all the time again.

Dining Halls:

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

I gave up on the dining halls.

Meal Plans:

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

It’s mandatory to have the full meal plan freshman year. After that only a minimal meal plan is required.


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

Very challenging eating in the dorms. Very tiny frig and a microwave in form. Places did deliver, but that was a treat and not sustainable.

Getting Started:

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

Find out as much as they can about who to talk to regarding dietary restrictions. Find supermarkets, restaurants, coffee houses and fast food option in the area that offer items with your dietary needs.


Advice on managing parties or dinners out with friends?

Always eat before you go out. Be very careful drinking. Ingredients that may make you sick may not be obvious. The general public does not understand severe food allergies, especially celiac.


Any other advice or comments?

A nutrition class should be required fall semester if freshman year covering food allergies, especially celiac and dairy, and explaining what reaction can occur mild to severe.

Meal Plans:

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