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Lehigh University Touts New Gluten-free Dining Options

Celiac.com 01/24/2014 - To create a gluten-free, allergen-free station in a dining hall that serves about 10,000 to 14,000 students each week, and offers a different daily menus for each meal, Lehigh University in Bethlehem went the distance. The result was Simple Servings.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons--matt caseyLehigh's earlier dining hall offered gluten-free cereals, soups, pastas and breads via their Your Choice station. That original station has been incorporated into Simple Servings, and Lehigh students with gluten intolerance can now experience the same range of choices as their non-sensitive counterparts.

Joseph Kornafel, Lehigh's executive chef, says that the school has really paid attention to details, from getting the right equipment when the station was being built, to maintaining a database of allergen-free recipes,

Lehigh has also reached out to coaches and student-athletes to make sure they understand how the system works and to always get a clean plate before taking food from the station to avoid cross-contamination.

Purple is the color adopted to designate allergen-free items in the food industry, and Lehigh uses purple to designate all gluten-free food preparation items, including utensils, carts and cutting boards.

All gluten-free preparation equipment is dedicated, and never leaves that station to prevent cross-contamination. All chefs working that station are specially trained, and and all ingredients are clearly labeled for each dish.

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