Going off to college can be an exciting time for teens and their families. However, for students living with food allergies and other special dietary needs, college planning can also trigger feelings of anxiety and cause significant stress. In addition to concerns about college admissions requirements and finding colleges that are a good 'fit', food-allergic teens must contend with finding Supportive Allergy-Friendly EdEnvironments.™ Fortunately, many colleges and universities are working to minimize the stress of attending college by ensuring that their dining and food service areas are safe from food-allergy related incidents. MenuTrinfo®, a company dedicated to providing nutrition and food allergy solutions to the food service industry, developed a food allergy and gluten-free training program for the college food service industry, called AllerTrainU™. Over 100 colleges and universities in the U.S. have completed this specialized training on proper practices for avoiding food-allergy incidents and how to prepare for them should they occur. Recognizing the important role that resident assistants (RAs) play in shaping the college experience for students, MenuTrinfo® now offers training on the basics of food allergies and anaphylaxis to college RAs and a few colleges have participated in this program. This map (http://www.menutrinfo.com/allergy-training/allertrained-college-and-universities/)
shows which colleges and universities have food service staff who have completed a MenuTrinfo®'s food allergy and gluten-free training class. More information about the specific food allergy policy, college procedures for accommodating students with special dietary needs and other details will require more research but this map is an excellent place to start. Although there is never a complete guarantee that food will be completely free from allergens, it is refreshing to know that many colleges and universities are participating in MenuTrinfo®'s special training programs to promote safe and inclusive collegiate environments for everyone.