Schools forced to adjust to students' food allergies - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Schools forced to adjust to students' food allergies

Posted:

The number of students dealing with dangerous food allergies is increasing and that means that school cafeterias have to adjust to the new reality.

Every university in the country is looking at the issue now. Not just because there are more students with food allergies - but because of a legal battle.

Purdue freshman Steven Zehr is just starting to digest the meal plan. 

"They definitely have a wide variety of options," said the Jasper native.

But Steven's got to be careful with those options.

"It would start in my lips then my throat and mouth would get really dry," he said.

For others with nut allergies like Steven's, the reaction could be deadly.

"Good for me to ask about the two things on the right," Steven said as he checked out food at a counter in Wiley Dining Hall.

At Purdue, the number of students enrolled with serious food allergies this year is twice last year's. At Ball State, there are 35 percent more and IU and Butler are both working to help students with serious food allergies.

"They even have a separate fryer, gluten-free, so they're sure there's no cross contamination," said freshman Clara Danao. 

Danao and other students talked food safety with food service staff. 

The issue came to the front burner earlier this year with an out of court settlement involving and out of state university. The settlement established serious food allergies are covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act. 

Now, schools must closely work with students to meet their needs. Something the dining hall supervisor at Wiley has been doing for over a decade.

"My passion for helping students with food allergies is because of my son's food allergies," Carrie Anderson said.

So at Wiley Dining Hall, pasta for gluten-free students "will always be elbow macaroni," says Anderson. 

Pointing to a 12-burner stove, she says it can get confusing picking out which pots or pans are for allergen-free foods.

"We have an allergy kit. A pan - it has a purple handle," Anderson said.

All the utensils for non-allergen foods have purple handles, too.

"So the cook will always know that it is for someone who has a food allergy," she said. 
"We have a smoker. All the smoked meats are gluten-free."

Students are urged to ask staff how things are prepared.

"They're willing to help us out anyway they can," Zehr said.

"I was very satisfied with the number of options there were," Danao said.

And how can you tell the cupcakes in the desert case are gluten-free? They're the ones with red frosting.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Bicyclist hit by Tahoe on Old Jacksonville Highway

    Bicyclist hit by Tahoe on Old Jacksonville Highway

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 11:20 PM EDT2014-08-27 03:20:26 GMT
    Photo: Kateria WinfreyPhoto: Kateria Winfrey
    TYLER -- (KYTX) A bicyclist has been taken to ETMC after being struck by a car near the 7500 block of Old Jacksonville Road. We are told the woman hit is an avid cyclist in Tyler. More >>
    TYLER -- (KYTX) A bicyclist has been taken to ETMC after being struck by a car near the 7500 block of Old Jacksonville Road. We are told the woman hit is an avid cyclist in Tyler. More >>
  • Time Warner Cable comes back from nationwide Internet outage

    Time Warner Cable comes back from nationwide Internet outage

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:33 AM EDT2014-08-27 12:33:53 GMT
    Time Warner Cable, one of the nation's largest cable and broadband providers, suffered an unusual nationwide Internet outage early Wednesday morning. Time Warner Cable says the outage happened during their routine network maintenance.More >>
    Time Warner Cable, one of the nation's largest cable and broadband providers, suffered an unusual nationwide Internet outage early Wednesday morning. Time Warner Cable says the outage happened during their routine network maintenance.More >>
  • Beating the back-to-school blues

    Beating the back-to-school blues

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:32 AM EDT2014-08-27 12:32:53 GMT
    TYLER (KYTX) - Students are back to school after a long summer off, or maybe it's their first year ever in the classroom. This transition isn't always easy for kids. But, there are ways to help them beat the back-to-school blues.More >>
    TYLER (KYTX) - Students are back to school after a long summer off, or maybe it's their first year ever in the classroom. This transition isn't always easy for kids. But, there are ways to help them beat the back-to-school blues.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.