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Dining with Food Allergies

CAS is committed to accommodating your individual dietary needs. Please make an appointment to meet Heather Carrera, MS, CNS to understand how we can make your campus dining experience safe and enjoyable. Heather can be reached at and at 245-5569. 

Allergen Symbols

All of our menus are labeled for easy identification of common allergens and diets. Follow these labels, and if you have any concerns, check with your server or contact our Nutrition & Wellness Manager.

GF= Gluten-friendly, VT= Vegetarian, VG= Vegan, DF= Dairy-Free, C= Contains Coconut, N= May Contain Nuts

Food Allergies and Intolerances

If you have a food allergy, is important to meet with Heather Carrera, the Nutrition and Wellness Coordinator, to develop a plan that meets your needs. If needed, an emergency plan will be developed so that you are prepared in the event of an allergic reaction on campus. Many menu items can be altered to fit your dietary needs with simple preparation changes.  If cross-contamination with an allergen at the point of service is a concern, a menu item can be taken from the kitchen before it is brought out for service. When discussing food allergies and intolerances, many will use these terms interchangeably. While the symptoms of food allergies and intolerances can be similar, they have very different causes and origins. A food allergy is characterized by the body's immune system recognizing food as a foreign antigen, or invader, and making antibodies to defend against that food. An allergic reaction to a food can be immediate and life-threatening, presenting with a range of reactions, from tongue swelling and anaphylaxis to digestive symptoms, such as vomiting. An anaphylactic reaction requires immediate medical attention. Anaphylaxis involves itchy eyes, difficulty swallowing or breathing and throat swelling. If you are or someone else is experiencing these symptoms, call 911. It is important to familiar with words commonly associated with your food allergy so that you can identify them on menus and ingredients labels. For example, the word "pesto" often means that the food contains pine nuts. There are many culinary terms that can signify allergens, so when in doubt, it is best to pick an alternative. Food intolerances are not as life-threatening as food allergies but may cause severe symptoms that can last days or weeks. Dining services understand the severity of food intolerances and will work with you to meet your needs. Students should inform health services of their food allergies and medications by contacting Lauderdale Health Center at 585-245-5736. 

Peanut and Tree Nut Allergies

Our mission is to provide the highest quality dining experience for our diverse campus and guests. With an increase in nut allergies within the Geneseo campus, and across the country, we are taking extra precaution to minimize exposure in our facilities. As we evaluate our policies and procedures surrounding nut allergies, we have made the decision to remove peanut and tree nuts in our restaurants and cafés. This may affect certain menu items or recipes we currently use and sell, but is a precaution to ensure the safety of our customers. Thank you for understanding.

Milk Allergies and Lactose Intolerance

A milk allergy is allergy to the protein, casein or whey, found in all milk products. Those with a milk allergy (a term that can be interchangeably with "dairy allergy") cannot ingest any milk protein without experiencing an allergic reaction, and must be diligent in avoiding all sources of milk protein. Dairy-alternatives include soy milk, nut milks, and rice milks. Lactose intolerance occurs when the body produces insufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which is needed to digest lactose, the primary sugar found in dairy products. Lactose intolerance varies from person to person. Some people can digest smaller servings of lactose, such as the amount of lactose in 4 ounces, or half a glass, of milk or about the amount found in one scoop of ice cream. Others can tolerate very little lactose in their diet. However, it is a myth that people with lactose-intolerance should avoid dairy altogether. Lactose-free milk is an acceptable alternative to milk for individuals with lactose-intolerance. Often, people with lactose-intolerance can tolerate breads, baked goods and other foods that are processed with milk. Many individuals with lactose intolerance can tolerate cultured dairy foods, such as yogurt and cheese, because these foods are naturally lower in lactose than other dairy products. The "DF" symbol, found on menus in restaurants & cafes, online and on packaging of grab and go items, signifies that a menu item does not contain dairy. On campus, all menu items that marked "DF" are also lactose-free, therefore, lactose-free individuals can utilize this symbol to find lactose-free menu options. 

Commercial Kitchen Disclaimer

The disclaimer describes the nature of CAS dining operations as a commercial kitchen:

CAS makes every effort to accommodate the various dietary requirements of our customers and handles food allergies seriously. Please be advised that our menu items may contain allergens, and due to food preparation in a commercial kitchen, there is always some risk of cross-contact of allergens and gluten. In addition, food manufacturers may change their product formulation or manner of processing without our knowledge. While CAS is committed to making every effort to minimize cross-contact risks, customers with concerns need to be aware of these risks and always be prepared in the event of an adverse reaction. CAS works one-on-one with students with dietary restrictions to minimize adverse reactions. Students with concerns should contact Nutrition and Wellness Coordinator, Heather Carrera, MS, CNS at (585)245-5569 or  The Nutrition and Wellness Coordinator, student and appropriate culinary staff can develop a comprehensive plan for students with dietary restrictions. Students should notify SUNY Geneseo Health Services at Lauderdale Health Center of dietary restrictions, medications, and provide appropriate documentation. Any nutrition facts provided are approximations only. Ingredient and nutrition content of foods may vary and should not be used alone as a guide for safe consumption.