Food Allergies & Special Diets

Registered Nutritionist Alexa Gandara
our commitment

Our commitment begins with our registered dietitian, Alexa Gandara, who consults with students individually to develop personalized food allergy management plans.

Contact us to learn more.

food identification key
food identification key

The stamps above are used across our locations to let you know what you can eat, and what to avoid!

FARE and AllerTrain logos

Our culinary team is trained in proper food allergy handling and our managers are certified by AllerTrain to manage food allergies. We also maintain our Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) College Food Allergy profile and stay up-to-date with FARE news.

Dine Safely with Us in 6 Steps

In our commitment to transparency, we remind students that there is always a risk of food allergen cross contact. To dine safely follow the 6-step guide below. 


Reach out to the Dining team for guidance in safely navigating the dining hall. 


Always review allergen labels displayed at each station before choosing your meal. Never eat or drink foods that do not have food allergen information displayed.


Need more information while choosing your meal in the dining hall? Ask for a manager to review the ingredients. 


Be aware of the risk of cross contact. Our dining halls have many self-serve areas where there is risk of food allergen cross contact.


Request that our staff change their gloves, use a new pan, utensils, etc. when placing your order at cook-to-serve stations.


Remember to carry your prescribed EpiPen or medication, and to let your friends know that you have a serious food allergy so that they can quickly find help in the event of a reaction.


Gluten Free Pizza
Gluten Free Pizza
Gluten Free

All foods labeled “GF” are free from ingredients that contain gluten. To limit gluten cross contact, John Jay houses their own gluten free station.

Stir fried noodles and vegetables
Vegan & Vegetarian

All our locations offer vegan and vegetarian options. Look for items marked "VN" or "V" on our menus. 

Peanut Butter
Peanut Butter
Peanuts & Tree Nuts

Items containing peanuts and tree nuts are offered at the Nut Zones at John Jay and Ferris Booth, with the exception of almond milk offered in our dairy free milk fridges and occasional coconut ingredients used in cooking. 

A halal meal

Menu items that contain only Halal ingredients are labeled "H" on our menus. In addition, John Jay offers a Halal station where students can always find a Halal meal. 

Kosher Salad

John Jay Dining Hall offers convenient to-go Kosher sandwiches, salads and snacks. For full-service Kosher dining, Columbia students can utilize their meal plans at Hewitt Dining Hall at Barnard College.

Chef hand-mixing mozzarella balls and tomatoes in stainless steel bowl
Additional questions?

Contact the Dining Team by email.

student testimonials

Knowing that there are food options every day that I can eat, despite having several food allergies, is extremely comforting. The services that Columbia Dining provides for students with allergies have been above and beyond my expectations -- it has significantly improved my Columbia experience. Thank you so much!!”

“I've been incredibly satisfied with the services Columbia Dining has been providing. You often have all the things I ask for and you've been protecting me from cross contamination. The food is also very tasty. Thank you so much.”

“I absolutely love my specialized dining plan! Columbia Dining has been making delicious food that is at the same time perfectly meeting my dietary needs and now I have a bright spot in every day when I get to go pick up my meal. It's so much more convenient than I'd expected and the chefs are all so friendly. Thanks again for helping me discover such a great solution to my dining problem.”