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Lesley University Food Allergy Settlement Details

University Business, Feb 2013

After a number of students at Lesley University (Mass.) sued the institution for not providing adequate/safe dining options for them, the Justice Department reached a settlement with Lesley officials. The university, which contracts with Bon Appetit Dining Services, agreed to amend policies and practices to:

  • Continually provide ready-made hot and cold gluten- and allergen-free food options in its dining hall food lines;
  • Develop individualized meal plans for students with food allergies, and allow those students to pre-order allergen-free meals, that can be made available at the university’s dining halls in Cambridge and Boston;
  • Provide a dedicated space in its main dining hall to store and prepare gluten-free and allergen-free foods and to avoid cross-contamination;
  • Enable students to request food made without allergens, and ensure that a supply of allergen-free food is available;
  • Work to retain vendors that accept students’ prepaid meal cards that offer food without allergens;
  • Display notices concerning food allergies and identify foods containing specific allergens;
  • Train food service and university staff about food allergy-related issues;
  • Pay $50,000 in compensatory damages to previously identified students who have celiac disease or other food allergies.
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