We’re committed to offering food options that meet the needs of students on special / restricted diets. Reasonable accommodations are available to meet the needs of eligible students.

Food Allergy Notice: Please feel free to speak with our staff if you have questions regarding food allergens  Prepared foods in our dining facilities may not be allergen free, even if they are made initially with products that don’t contain the allergen.  Below are the top 9 allergens that ISU Dining lists on ingredient labels and online menus.

Top 9 Allergens

  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Fish
  • Crustacean Shellfish (e.g., Crab, Lobster, Shrimp, Krill, Prawns, Crawfish)*
  • Wheat/Gluten
  • Tree Nuts*
  • Peanuts
  • Soy/Edamame
  • Sesame/Tahini
* Special Notes:
  • Under the Food Allergen Labeling And Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), molluscan shellfish (such as oysters, clams, mussels, mollusks, scallops, snail, squid, or octopus) is not a major allergen. Therefore, we do not label molluscan shellfish as a shellfish allergen at ISU Dining, only crustacean shellfish.
  • For coconut, while the FDA recognizes it was a “tree nut,” the specific coconut allergen protein is not the same as tree nuts. Biologically, a coconut is not considered a tree nut by the ACAAI (https://acaai.org/allergies/types/food-allergies/types-food-allergy/tree-nut-allergy). Therefore, we do not label coconut as a tree nut at ISU Dining.
  • Highly refined oils contain extremely small levels of allergenic protein. Clinical studies show that highly refined oils can be safely eaten by food allergic individuals. Therefore, highly refined oils derived from the nine major food allergens are exempt from being listed as an allergen (e.g., soybean oil, peanut oil, etc.). Cold pressed, expeller pressed, or extruded oils must be listed as an allergen since it is not as highly refined and contains more allergenic protein.

Medical Accommodations – Special Diet Kitchen

While many students can self-manage their food allergies and intolerances by using the resources we have available, our Special Diet Kitchen provides dietary accommodations to students with medically-indicated special diets that are difficult to self manage. It is the student/guardian responsibility to initiate a dietary accommodation request so we can help you. The student is required to follow the steps below and meet with the ISU Dining Dietitian to complete the request.

To connect with ISU Dining and get registered to eat in the Special Diet Kitchen, follow the steps below:

  • Step #1: Complete the Housing and Dining Accommodation Request Form and Risk Waiver. Submit these two forms to the ISU Dining Staff Dietitian via email or mail at diningrd@iastate.edu
  • Step #2: Contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) by phone (515-294-7220) or via email (accessibility@iastate.edu) regarding your request. They will ask you to provide documentation from a qualified medical provider to assist in determining how to proceed with your dietary accommodation request.
  • Step #3: SAS staff will review the documentation sent from your medical provider, and they will be in contact with ISU Dining and/or the Department of Residence as soon as appropriate. We will be in touch to discuss “next steps” within two weeks of the receipt of your documentation.

Medical Exemption

If you are requesting a release from the residence hall meal plan requirement, you should be aware that dietary restrictions do not always constitute a valid reason for canceling your meal plan contract. These requests will only be considered if ISU Dining is unable to accommodate your needs as described in the above Medical Accommodations section.

If you still wish to request release from the meal plan requirement, you may email your request to dining@iastate.edu. Please include your full name, ISU ID# and the reason for your request in your e-mail. Please be aware that retroactive requests will not be considered.

Vegan / Vegetarian Menus

Online menus are labeled with vegan and vegetarian symbols to help students easily find those items. Many locations offer create-your-own menu items such as deli sandwiches and salad bars that can also be used by vegan and vegetarian students. Utilize the online menus as well as signage in locations and on products to help you find the foods you need. Though all locations can accommodate vegan and vegetarian students, a specific vegan/vegetarian station called “Zest” is available in Friley Windows dining center.

If you need help finding items to eat while you are in a dining location, please ask to speak with a manager.

You can also use our online menus to help you find items.

Religious Practice

ISU Dining makes a concerted effort to purchase and prepare items that are suitable for a variety of religious practices.

ISU Dining also makes concessions for practicing Muslims during Ramadan.

  • We will have to-go containers for your morning and evening meals available at Union Drive and Seasons Marketplace.
  • Friley Windows and Conversations are open after sunset for late-night meal service Monday-Thursday evening.
  • Our GET & GO locations can provide portable meal options using a dining center swipe.
  • Our retail locations (markets, cafes, fast casual restaurants) can provide grab-and-go menu items.
  • Please visit our  ISU Dining website for service hours.

Note: Because there is no meal plan requirement during the summer, students who make the choice to purchase Meal Blocks or Dining Dollars should do so with their own religious practices in mind. Refunds will not be given for meals not eaten due to Ramadan. Also, any unused Block Meals remaining at the end of summer will roll over for use during the fall semester, so there is no monetary loss due to Ramadan observance.

ISU Dining considers the following items as Halal:*

  • Fish and seafood
  • Beef, lamb, and poultry that have been labeled halal by the supplier
  • Dairy products made with halal enzymes and additives (i.e. milk, cheese, cream, yogurt, etc.)
  • Eggs from chickens
  • Vegetables, fruit, and grains (with the exception of those that cause intoxication)
  • Beans, legumes, nuts, tofu, & seeds
  • Animal-derived products extracted from Zabiha animals (i.e. enzymes, animal fat, emulsifiers)
  • Vinegars that do not include wine in the name (i.e. distilled vinegar, cider vinger, balsamic vinegar, etc.)
  • Chocolate liquor – despite the name it does not contain alcohol.

*The above items are considered Halal as long as they are not prepared with haram ingredients

Halal protein options:

Available at Seasons Marketplace, Union Drive Marketplace, and Friley Windows.

  • Proteins can be produced upon request and guests should ask for manager/chef once they arrive at the location.
  • Staff will discuss options available with the guest at time of request or produce alternate options.

Available at Heaping Plato at the Hub.


ISU Dining considers the following items as Haram:

  • Pork and its by-products (i.e., gelatin, lipase, pepsin, lard)
  • Animal-derived products or ingredients extracted from non-Zabiha animals (i.e. chicken broth, enzymes, mono- and diglycerides, l-cysteine, etc.)\
  • Alcohol or ingredients that contain alcohol (i.e. pure or artificial vanilla extract, chocolate liqueur, wine vinegar, cooking wine, other fermented products such as naturally brewed soy sauce, etc.)
  • Ingredients made from insects (i.e. Confectioner’s Glaze, Shellac, & Natural Red Dye 4, Cochineal Extract/Carmine, etc.)
  • Blood

College Food Allergy Search Program

Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) is the leading national organization dedicated to food allergy research, education, advocacy, and awareness of food allergies. Our Registered Dietitian is a FARECheck Instructor and has trained several of our staff in the FARECheck program. This training was developed by FARE to assist food service operations in understanding proper food handling and safety practices to create a safe environment for food-allergic diners. We strive to have multiple levels of our dining staff FARECheck trained each year.

ISU Dining is also part of the College Food Allergy Search program. This tool is part of the FARE College Food Allergy Program. It serves as an important resource for prospective students managing food allergies and allows high school students and their parents to see and compare a school’s food allergy accommodations and policies to ensure the safety of the student with food allergies.