Saint Peter's University opens allergen-free dining station

image003JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (February 16, 2016) – Saint Peter’s Dining by Sodexo has introduced its award-winning Simple Servings station in Loughran Dining Room on campus.

Simple Servings is an allergen-safe, dining option for students and faculty with food allergies, gluten intolerance, or those who prefer plain and simple foods. The Simple Servings station offers food free from common allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, wheat, soy, milk products, and eggs.

Sodexo General Manager Jeff Weissinger champions food allergy training for the dining staff, as well as the university’s Resident Assistants (RAs). One of only two Master AllerTrain instructors for Sodexo nationwide, he has conducted AllerTrain U, AllerTrain Lite, and AllerTrain RA classes for the dining management, supervisors, and RAs, so that the campus has multiple resources when it comes to questions or concerns about food allergies.

Saint Peter’s University is one of only two schools in the country that has AllerTrain-certified Resident Assistants – and one of only two schools in NJ that has dining staff AllerTrain,-certified the other being The College of New Jersey.

“We definitely wanted Simple Servings as a part of the dining experience at Saint Peter’s University,” said Weissinger. “Working with Beth Winthrop, National Wellness Director for Campus Services at Sodexo and the creator of Simple Servings, we launched the concept and are making sure we are doing all we need to ensure this is an allergen-free station.”

All foods offered on the Simple Servings station are also free from gluten-containing ingredients.

Simple Servings staff members at Saint Peter’s University are carefully trained to avoid cross-contact with food allergens. Separate equipment, storage areas, utensils and preparation areas minimize, but do not totally eliminate, the chances of gluten and allergens in Simple Servings foods.

Seventy-five percent of Simple Servings items also meet Sodexo’s Mindful criteria, which make an easy and healthy choice for customers who are focused on ingredients and portion size to control weight, blood sugar and other health issues.

According to Weissinger, it is vital that customers see and feel safe that we are accommodating those with food restrictions.

“A lot of students are afraid to admit that they have a food allergy,” said Dee Smith, Simple Servings culinarian and server at Saint Peter’s University. “This station is different than the others – different foods, different cooking styles, and it brings out the flavor of the ingredients more. Students really seem to like the food and flavors here and are really glad we have this available.”