Food Allergies & Dietary Accommodations at UC Davis Residential Dining

Our mission is to provide a dining experience that is the least stressful and most enjoyable part of our students' day. To that end, our team is committed to providing safe, stress-free, and enjoyable meals for our students with dietary restrictions. We offer a variety of accommodations through our Residential Dining Dietary Support Program (DSP), however some dietary restrictions may also be managed independently using the resources below.

Our Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Team support hundreds of first-year student residents with dietary restrictions. We work with each student individually, providing the resources necessary to make informed food choices and discussing options that best meet each student's dietary needs. The Residential Dining Dietary Support Program team includes the Registered Dietitian, the Nutrition team, chefs, and managers who work together to ensure students with dietary restrictions have an exceptional dining experience.

We strongly encourage students with dietary restrictions to plan ahead and coordinate any necessary accommodations prior to arriving on campus. Read below to learn more about the resources and accommodations available at UC Davis Residential Dining Services.

All first-year residents have a mandatory 5-day or 7-day meal plan, granting them access to all three of our Dining Commons (or DC's): Segundo, Tercero, and Cuarto DC. Students can enjoy continuous dining, meaning they can visit and eat at any DC of their choice as many times as they like for that 5-day or 7-day period during normal operating hours. Once inside the DC, food is served at different stations called platforms, and each platform has its own theme. With our all-you-care-to-eat dining format, students may select as much as they like from a variety of tasty and nutritious options.

Readily-Available Resources for Navigating the DC's with Dietary Restrictions

All DC patrons have access to the following resources to help them navigate their meal options while dining with us:

The Online Menu

Daily menus at each DC are published on our online menu. All dishes are labeled for the top 9 major allergens (wheat/gluten, soy, dairy, fish, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, and sesame) as well as soybean oil, coconut, and alcohol. Additionally, Precautionary Advisory Labels (statements such as "may contain…" and "processed in a facility that also processes…"), while not required by the FDA, are indicated on menu information when disclosed by the manufacturer. The Nutrition Team and DC management staff collaborate to maintain accuracy and transparency of our menu information.

Menu Signage

Inside each DC, LCD screens and individual menu placards identify allergens at the point of service.

Halal, Vegan, and Vegetarian Dining Options

Online menus are labeled with vegan, vegetarian, and Halal icons to help students easily find menu options that fit their needs. Self-service options, available at platforms such as our Fresh Inspirations deli sandwich and salad bar, can also be used to create or enhance any vegan, vegetarian, or Halal meals. Utilize the online menu as well as signage in locations and on products to help you find the foods you need. For assistance navigating vegan, vegetarian, or Halal meal options while you are in a dining location, please ask to speak with a DC manager or a Chef on duty.

Eat at the Bistro

Allergy-Friendly options inside each DC are readily available at the Bistro, our allergy-friendly platform featuring a variety of tasty dishes made without any of the top major allergens, (wheat/gluten, soy, dairy, fish, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, and sesame) as well as soybean oil and coconut. Review the online menu for daily Bistro selections.

The Allergy-Friendly Designation

At Dining Services, "Allergy-Friendly" is a designation used to describe any dish made without ingredients containing any one of the top major allergens (wheat/gluten, soy, dairy, fish, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, and sesame) as well as soybean oil and coconut. Our team makes every effort to identify ingredients that may trigger allergic reactions for individuals with food allergies or intolerances, and is trained on a regular basis to ensure items are accurately labeled and that proper food preparation methods are observed to reduce the risk for cross-contact. However, our DC's are not certified allergy-free or certified gluten-free facilities, as other dishes served may contain major allergens. If you have concerns about cross-contact, it is highly advised that you communicate your dietary needs to DC staff upon your visit, and follow the steps outlined below to apply for our Residential Dining Dietary Support Program.

Residential Dining Dietary Support Program (DSP)

Need Further Assistance with Meal Accommodations?

While many students can self-manage their food allergies and intolerances by using the resources above, our Residential Dining Dietary Support Program (DSP) provides further accommodations to students with dietary restrictions that are difficult to self-manage. DSP functions out of our three DC's (Segundo, Tercero, and Cuarto DC) to provide reasonable accommodations that can meet your dietary needs. Accommodations are only available to students who have residence hall room and board contracts (i.e. mandatory 5-day or 7-day meal plans) for any one of the following:

  • Food allergies
  • Food intolerances (examples include lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance)
  • Dietary restrictions related to a health condition (examples include Crohn's disease, Celiac Disease, IBS, IBD, diabetes)
  • Physician-prescribed therapeutic diets (examples include low FODMAP diet, specific carbohydrate diet)
  • Other medical dietary restrictions
  • Religious dietary obligations

If any one of the above applies to you, follow the steps below to qualify for our Dietary Support Program.

Students with Aggie Swipe Plus Meal Plans

At this time, accommodations through Residential Dining Dietary Support Program are not available to students with the voluntary Aggie Swipe Plus meal plans (this includes meal plans offered to student residents at The Green). Because there is no meal plan requirement for students living off campus or in campus apartment housing, students who make the choice to purchase voluntary Aggie Swipe Plus meal plans should do so with their own dietary restrictions in mind. Inquiries and refunds can be provided at any time by visiting the Dining Services Meal Card Office, located on the 3rd floor of the Segundo Services Center, and by telephone at 530-752-6335. Visit the Buy an Aggie Swipe Plus Meal Plan or Aggie Cash+ webpage for more information.

Parent Involvement: Fostering Self-Advocacy for Safety & Success

Moving away from home to college is a certainly exciting and sometimes overwhelming time, as students take their first steps toward independence and adulthood. This experience can be particularly daunting for both students and parents alike, especially if those students are living with a food allergy.

Parents or guardians communicating on behalf of a UC Davis student with members of our Dining team are always met with utmost care and concern. In an effort to provide student-centered care, we prioritize direct and open communication with the UC Davis student, which fosters the development of their self-advocacy while also allowing us to best service their needs. We are also mindful of FERPA regulations, and can only provide general information unless we have a release from the student involved. Parents are highly encouraged to have their student reach out on their own behalf, to ensure the student's safety and success both at UC Davis Dining Services and beyond.

Dietary Accommodations During the Summer Quarter

Summer program participants with dietary restrictions are eligible for temporary dietary accommodations that span the duration of their program. Please note: reductions in Summer dining service are in place to reflect the reduced volume of on-campus patrons. Please be advised that some of our campus dining establishments may be temporarily closed during the Summer quarter.

  • Current UC Davis Students: If you are a current UC Davis student participating in a residential Summer program that includes a meal plan in the DC's, follow the steps below to qualify for our Dietary Support Program.
  • Non-UC Davis Students: If you are a non-UC Davis student participating in a Summer program supported by Student Housing and Dining Services, please communicate your dietary needs to your Summer program director. Directors of summer programs communicating on behalf of one or more non-UC Davis student program participants should then reach out to our Accommodations Team at the email listed in step 1 below.

How to Apply for our Residential Dining Dietary Support Program

Step 1: Disclose your Dietary Restrictions

Disclose your medical dietary restrictions by visiting the Student Housing and Dining Services Special Accommodations webpage and review the information on that page. Complete the Health Condition Disclosure form, and submit the form to the Student Housing & Dining Special Accommodations team at

Requesting Accommodations for Religious Dietary Obligations

Examples of students who may need meal accommodations for religious dietary obligations include students who adhere to Jain or Kosher dietary guidelines. Completion of a Health Condition Disclosure form is not necessary; simply reach out to the Special Accommodations team at to request accommodations. From there, your information is provided to the Registered Dietitian.

Kosher Dining Options

Learn more about additional Kosher Dining Options by visiting our Options for Kosher Dining webpage.

Step 2: Submit Additional Documentation

After disclosing your dietary restrictions, an Accommodations Team member will follow up to request further medical documentation confirming the need for dietary accommodations. Once all necessary documentation is verified, the Accommodations Team will provide your contact information to Dining Services' Registered Dietitian.

Step 3: Connect with the Registered Dietitian

Upon receiving your information from the Accommodations Team, the Registered Dietitian will reach out to your UC Davis email with support resources and information on how to schedule an appointment. During an appointment with the Registered Dietitian, you will complete a Food Preferences List. This document communicates your specific dietary restrictions and preferences to the culinary team. All students requesting meal accommodations through DSP must first complete a Food Preferences List with the Registered Dietitian to ensure the culinary team has detailed information on how to prepare their meals safely. Students may then request to update your Food Preferences List as many times as needed throughout the academic year to ensure their meals according to their preferences. See an example of a Food Preferences List (pdf).

Step 4: Access The Aggie Choice Menu

Once your Food Preferences List is complete and has been received by the culinary team, you will be provided access to the Aggie Choice Menu, our accommodations menu that features customizable fresh meals, available year-round, made to order, that can fit your unique dietary needs. The Aggie Choice Menu contains a variety of food options meant to meet the needs of most students in DSP, who have a wide and varying range of dietary restrictions. Ordering from this menu is done via our easy to use text-in ordering system. Both the Aggie Choice Menu and the ordering system are covered in detail during your appointment with the RDN. See an example of an Aggie Choice Menu (pdf).

Please note: you MUST have a complete Food Preferences List submitted to the culinary team to place orders from the Aggie Choice Menu. For their safety, students without a completed Food Preferences List on file who place orders from this menu will NOT have their meal order fulfilled. Please ensure you have completed the steps above to qualify for DSP.

Are you in DSP? Get Involved in Allergy-Friendly Aggies!

Allergy-Friendly Aggies is our first-year campus community of students enrolled in our Dietary Support Program. Students in DSP are automatically provided all resources needed to get involved with Allergy-Friendly Aggies. See our key program features below:

Allergy-Friendly Aggies Discord Server

Our virtual community of DSP students is hosted by our Nutrition Student team, and members can connect with others, share experiences, provide feedback, build friendships, participate in fun challenges for prizes, stay in the know about upcoming events, and obtain resources for navigating college with dietary restrictions. You might even find a lunch buddy!

Student Advisory Committee Meetings

DSP is built entirely on student feedback, and we want to hear from you! Student Advisory Committee meetings are once-monthly informal meetings that take place in rotating DC locations during dinner service. Attending these meetings is a great way to provide your feedback, get to know our dining team, and meet other DSP students.

For DSP Students: Tips to Safely Navigate Residential Dining

Exploring Other Options in the DC's

Students in DSP are certainly not limited to the selections on our Aggie Choice Menu. Depending on your dietary restrictions, you might find foods served in our DC's that fit your needs! Feel free to roam around the DC and check out other options being served, using the online menu as a guide. Please note: items available on our regular menu cycle are not eligible for modification or ordering via our text-in ordering system. Students may self-select these items upon their arrival to their DC of choice.

Ask for a portion from the back!

Because some meal options in the DCs are provided in a self-serve format, some students with dietary restrictions may feel uncomfortable with the cross-contact risk posed by shared serving utensils. If you are concerned about cross-contact in self-service areas, you may always feel free to ask a staff member or cook at any platform for a portion of food from a new batch or from the back kitchen.

Exercise Caution at the Pacific Fusions Platform

The stir fry-style dishes prepared at our Pacific Fusions platform are cooked on a shared surface, and given their customizable nature may introduce a variety of ingredients that could contain top major allergens. It is highly advised that students with food allergies exercise caution or altogether avoid menu items served from the Pacific Fusions platform. Instead, consider ordering a stir-fry bowl from the Aggie Choice Menu!

Be Aware of Fried Items

Most of our fried items are NOT allergy-friendly, as they are prepared in shared fryers that may be used to prepare ingredients containing top major food allergens (examples include French fries, fried chicken, and other fried proteins). Students can identify menu items that have been prepared in a shared fryer by looking out for the flag: "prepared in a fryer that is not allergy-free."

Exploring Campus Retail Dining with Dietary Restrictions

At this time, dietary accommodations for food allergies or other medical dietary restrictions are only available in Residential Dining (i.e. Segundo, Tercero, and Cuarto DC) through our Dietary Support Program. We cannot guarantee that foods served at our campus retail dining establishments can be prepared allergy-friendly. These establishments include: residential markets, Silo Market, Latitude Restaurant and Market, Spokes Grill, The Gunrock, Sage Street Market and Café, Scrubs Café, and campus Peet's Coffee locations. While menus can be found online and provided upon request, students are highly encouraged to communicate their dietary restrictions to a manager upon visiting any of our retail dining establishments. Our staff are knowledgeable of the menus and food preparation methods, and would be happy to assist you during your visit. Please note: the Coffee House, or CoHo, located in the Memorial Union, is run by ASUCD and not part of UC Davis Dining Services. Additionally, food trucks are independent businesses with their own practices. While Dining Services assists with answering allergy-related questions, food trucks are not operated or supervised by Dining Services. Please plan accordingly when dining at these establishments.

What about Latitude?

While not a DC, Latitude is a restaurant that accepts meal card swipes, featuring authentic cultural cuisine from around the world. In order to respect and preserve the cultural authenticity of the dishes served, Latitude chefs strive to create global cuisines that accurately represent a variety of international culinary traditions. Some dishes, therefore, may contain possible choking hazards (including whole spices, peppers, and bones) and/or major food allergens. While precautions are taken to ensure accurate and transparent labeling, Latitude dishes are prepared in a facility that also processes most major food allergens, and therefore may potentially contain dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soybeans, as well as sesame and coconut. Please note that dietary accommodations through our Dietary Support Program are not offered at Latitude. If you have a severe food allergy or other dietary restriction, it is highly recommended that you speak to a Latitude manager first and communicate your dietary needs. Learn more about Latitude Dining and Restaurant at the Latitude Restaurant website.

What to Do in an Emergency

If you experience an emergency allergic reaction in a DC, call 911 or notify a staff member right away, and they will contact emergency services for you.

While our staff takes every precaution to prevent cross-contact and ensure accurate food labeling, it's best to be prepared for any situation that may come your way. Knowing what to do in an emergency situation will ensure your safety. Please note that we do not carry epinephrine in our operations. It is highly recommended that students with epinephrine or other allergy medication keep this medication on them at all times, regardless of where they dine, and ensure that their medication has not expired. Our Dining staff may help a student access their emergency medication (i.e. from a personal bag or backpack), but are not permitted to administer said medication. In the event of an emergency, our staff will call 911.

How to Report an Incident

To report any adverse reactions to food consumed in our DC's, please contact our Dining Services Safety Specialist via email at Provide your name, phone number, a convenient time to reach you via phone call, and any details about the incident you wish to disclose. The Safety Specialist will follow up with you via phone call to gather and verify further details about the incident. An investigation will then be initiated in the operation to ensure corrective actions are taken to protect the safety of our patrons.