The Residential Dining Dietary Support Program

UC Davis Dining Services 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 information and resources described on our Food Allergens and Ingredients of Concern webpage.

DSP provides dietary accommodations and other support resources to hundreds of student residents with dietary restrictions, and functions out of our three Residential Dining Commons (Segundo, Tercero, and Cuarto DC). Students in DSP work with the Registered Dietitian, the DSP Peer Mentor team, chefs, and Residential Dining managers who collaborate to ensure students with dietary restrictions have an exceptional dining experience. 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.

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.

The Allergy-Friendly Designation

At UC Davis Dining Services, "Allergy-Friendly" is the term used to describe dishes made without top major allergens, soybean oil, soy lecithin, peanut oil, or prepared in a shared fryer, and additionally do not contain ingredients with a manufacturer's Precautionary Advisory Label. 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 apply for our Residential Dining Dietary Support Program.


Qualifying for the Dietary Support Program

Accommodations are available to students who have residence hall room and board contracts (i.e. living in either Segundo, Tercero, or Cuarto with a mandatory 5-day or 7-day meal plan) 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)
  • Behavioral health-related dietary restrictions
  • Other medical dietary restrictions
  • Religious dietary obligations

Students with Aggie Swipe Plus Meal Plans

At this time, accommodations through DSP 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 Aggie Swipe Plus Meal Plan website for more information.

How To Apply

Step 1: Disclose your Dietary Restrictions

Visit the Student Housing and Dining Services Housing and Dining Accommodations webpage and review the information on that page.

Those with religious dietary obligations may simply reach out to the Housing Accommodations Office at specialaccom@ad3.ucdavis.edu to request accommodations.

Step 2: Submit Additional Documentation

After disclosing your dietary restrictions, an Accommodations Specialist may follow up to request medical documentation verifying the need for dietary accommodations. Thereafter, the Specialist will provide your contact information to Dining Services.

Step 3: Connect with the Registered Dietitian

Upon receiving your information from the Housing Accommodations Office, the Registered Dietitian will reach out to your UC Davis email with support resources and appointment scheduling information. During your appointment, you and the Registered Dietitian will complete a Food Preferences List, a document communicating your specific dietary restrictions and preferences to the Residential Dining culinary teams. Students must have a Food Preferences List on file to receive meal accommodations, as this ensures the culinary team has detailed information on how to prepare the student's meals safely. Students may update their Food Preferences List as many times as needed throughout the academic year to ensure their meals are prepared according to their preferences. See an example of a Food Preferences List (pdf).

Step 4: Order from the Aggie Choice Menu

Once you have a Food Preferences List on file, you will be provided access to order from 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: Students 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.

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 above to qualify for our Residential Dining 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 be sure to communicate your dietary needs to your Summer program director. Program participants should then follow the steps above to qualify for our Residential Dining Dietary Support Program.

Exploring Retail Dining with Dietary Restrictions

At this time, dietary accommodations for food allergies or other medical dietary restrictions are only available in Residential Dining (Segundo, Tercero, and Cuarto DC) through our Residential Dining 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 on our website and provided upon request, dining patrons 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, and features 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 major allergens and ingredients of concern. Please note that dietary accommodations through our Residential Dining 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 shdssafety@ucdavis.edu. 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.


Allergy-Friendly Aggies

Allergy-Friendly Aggies is our 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:

Connect with our Nutrition Team

Students in DSP can email and schedule appointments with the Registered Dietitian as needed. In addition, DSP students in each residential area have their own designated DSP Peer Mentor! DSP Peer Mentors are current UC Davis undergraduate students that help run our Allergy-Friendly Aggies outreach and events, and work to support our DSP students.

Join our Allergy-Friendly Aggies Discord Server

Our virtual community of DSP students is hosted by our DSP Peer Mentor team. 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!

Receive our Allergy-Friendly Aggies Email Newsletter

Our DSP Peer Mentors publish a monthly email newsletter to all DSP students with program updates, events, articles, feedback surveys, and challenges to participate in for prizes!

Participate in 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 Nutrition team, and meet other DSP students.

Look for our Bright Purple Tablecloth

Our team members occasionally table in our residential dining areas during lunch or dinner service to promote our program. Look for our bright purple Allergy-Friendly Aggies tablecloth and stop by to say hello!