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Special Dietary Needs

The best way for us to assist your dietary needs is for you to contact us as soon as possible so that our dietitian and dining management team can meet with you. Together, they will help you navigate on-campus eateries and build a plan specific with you in mind.

If you have a special dietary need, please call 214-768-4349. 

Food Allergies

According to NIAID Guidelines, “A food allergy is defined as an adverse health effect arising from a specific immune response that occurs reproducibly on exposure to a given good.”  Food allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe, from watery eyes and hives to anaphylaxis. There are 8 common food allergies that make up 90% of all allergic reactions to food – milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat.

For more info regarding food allergies:

Food Intolerances

Food intolerances are not the same as food allergies. There are many causes for intolerance, but it occurs when the body cannot fully digest all the components of a food (e.g. lactose in milk). Symptoms can be painful and unpleasant, such as bloating and abdominal pain, but none are life-threatening.

We Can Help

SMU Dining Services understands that our students and guests may have different dietary needs and we are happy to accommodate you in any way that we can. We hope that your dining experience with us is a pleasurable and safe one.  If you have a special dietary need, such as a food allergy or intolerance, we encourage you to meet with our dietitian and the dining management team to discuss the options right for you. To arrange a meeting, simply call 214-768-4349 or email

In the Dining Hall

We encourage you to ask questions of our trained staff. Upon entering the dining hall, you can let the cashier know of your need or you can locate a supervisor in a RED jacket. They can assist you with questions regarding food ingredients, vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free options, or concerns you may have with the meals and food items. Keep in mind, though, that we must rely on food manufacturers’ and processors’ ingredient listings, and we may not be aware of ingredients which are actually in the food but not listed on the container or packaging.

Gluten-Friendly Dining

Our trained staff work hard to prevent cross-contamination and to ensure a safe meal for you. All dining staff are required to undergo food allergy training annually and are under close supervision from our supervisors and managers. We serve an abundance of naturally gluten-free foods and several specialty items. At our “Healthy on the Hilltop” station, it is designated gluten-friendly and there are gluten-free entrées and sides served daily. We also feature gluten-free breads and pasta upon request.

However, because our kitchen is not gluten-free and we rely on ingredient information from our suppliers, who can change their ingredients without notice, we cannot guarantee anything to be entirely gluten-free. As always, be informed when eating and notify our dietitian if you need assistance in making gluten-friendly choices on campus.