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Victoria University's Residence Dining Halls Receive New Zealand's First Gluten-Free Celiac Certification
Jefferson Adams posted an article in Additional Celiac Disease ConcernsCeliac.com 11/29/2017 - Wellington's Victoria University is the first institution of its kind in New Zealand to receive a full Celiac accreditation for its residence dining halls. Under a new partnership between Coeliac NZ and Compass, the company that provides food and support services to the six residence Halls at Victoria, the university achieved gluten-free accreditation through independent auditing company SGS in August 2017. Compass caters to resident university students with a range of food allergies and intolerances. The company already has a robust allergen management system in place, but wanted to do more to improve their gluten management practices. As part of its Dining Out program, Coeliac NZ helped Compass to further sharpen their focus on gluten management. "Providing safe food for residents is essential for [student] wellbeing and the success of their studies. The program has given us added confidence around managing safe gluten-free food service throughout our kitchens and dining halls," says Compass Group Dietitian Margaret Thorson. As part of the program, the entire Compass team, everyone from dietitians and site managers, to front-of-house workers, conducted an intensive review of entire process of gluten-free food preparation and practices.This included delivery, storage, food preparation, cleaning, service and communication. Compass staff also completed the Coeliac NZ online training focusing on gluten management. Coeliac New Zealand General Manager, Dana Alexander, says the organization is incredibly proud of the work done with Compass to offer safe gluten-free dining at Victoria University Halls of Residence, which helps take away one of the biggest challenges for people living with coeliac disease – eating meals they haven't prepared themselves. "Our Dining Out Programme provides the food service industry with the knowledge and skills to prepare safe gluten-free food, free from the risk of cross-contamination via utensils or food-prep surfaces. They can confidently tell customers they're delivering a reliably excellent gluten-free dining experience," she says. Read more at: scoop.co.nz
Jefferson Adams posted an article in Additional Celiac Disease ConcernsCeliac.com 05/24/2012 - The old, cafeteria-style dining campus hall is fast becoming a thing of the past. Today’s students are bringing their more sophisticated palates and health-related concerns to campuses and schools are stepping up to accommodate them. Driven by these new consumer demands, and more creative management, more and more campus dining halls are beginning to resemble restaurants, featuring selections that reflect world cuisine and emerging food trends. Students are "becoming more sophisticated customers," says Joe Wojtowicz, general manager of Sodexo, Inc.'s Crossroads dining room at Concordia University Chicago in River Forest. These days, it's common for students to press staff about food options, especially questions about celiac disease, gluten-intolerance, food allergies and vegetarian preferences. More and more are moving to accommodate dietary restrictions like vegetarian, Kosher or halal, or putting gluten-free or lactose-free choices on their menus. From higher quality ingredients, such as free-range eggs, humanely raised meats, and fresh, locally produced produce, dining halls are increasingly offering more exotic options like Cuban, Chinese, or Thai dishes. “It’s not just spaghetti for Italian and tacos for Mexican,” said Rachel Warner, marketing director for the National Association of College and University Food Services. Many colleges are hiring restaurant chefs, dieticians and nutritionists to oversee the dining hall operations and some are even customizing meals to meet individual student needs or preferences. “I think that the shift in dining is really driven by the consumers. They come in with higher expectations and are increasingly savvy about the world around them and the different kinds of food,” says Warner. More and more, this higher level of student awareness and expectation is driving camp offerings. At DePaul University, students were asked to vote on whether a particular brand of hummus was suitable at their school. At Northwestern University, students recently enjoyed a “cruise night” offering food of the tropics. At Loyola University Chicago, students drink hormone-free milk. Students at Northewestern University can choose from numerous kosher options. One university in Texas offers a vegan dining hall and a Colorado school has a station dedicated to Persian cuisine. According to Warner, “Students are coming in and they do want to have a little bit more say and more options.” These dining hall improvements are yielding benefits not just to students, but to their communities. In 2011, Wheaton College was ranked by the Princeton Review as having the best campus food in America. The dining services are run by Bon Appetit management company. Raul Delgado, general manager of Wheaton College’s dining services, says “When you look at this, the farthest thing from your mind is a cafeteria…This is a restaurant. And like any restaurant, it’s open to the general public. Esther Howerzyl, 68, who biked to Wheaton from St. Charles with a group of friends, says the food is "very organic health food and I like all the seeds, the variety of seeds.” Do you have experience with these evolving campus dining trends, especially as they relate to gluten-free options? If so, please comment below. Also read a related article: Schools Offering Better Food Options for Students with Celiac Disease, Other Food Concerns.