Nutrition & Allergen Guide

A Guide to Eating Well at UB & Food Allergy Management
Lori Bendersky, MS, RD, CDN | Campus Dining & Shops | Registered Dietitian
716-645-6445 |

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Our Mission

The mission of UB Campus Dining and Shops (CDS) is to enhance the campus life experience by providing a variety of dining options and services designed to fit the lifestyles and nutritional needs of the university community. Serving foods from local growers, striving to achieve sustainability, and expanding the availability of dining choices are ways that we enrich the dining experience.

Table of Contents

Healthy Eating Hotspots

There are so many places to eat on campus! While it may seem overwhelming at first, you can find several locations on campus that offer healthy and satisfying options. Try these locations on campus to meet your daily nutritional requirements!

Seasons Fresh Café and Juice Bar
Featuring a menu with seasonal produce and cold pressed juices. Located in the Center for the Arts.
Guac and Roll
Popular hot spot for fresh Mexican cuisine made with clean ingredients such as housemade guacamole, cilantro lime brown rice and marinated vegan tofu! Located at the Ellicott Food Court (EFC).
Edgy Veggies
Load up on veggies by building your own salad or wrap. Located in both the Student Union and Bert’s (Talbert Hall).
Au Bon Pain
Find a selection of vegetarian soups, fruit cups and protein bistro boxes. Located in Greiner Hall (Ellicott Complex).
Great spot for smoothies and hearty steel cut oatmeal. Located in the Student Union.
Champa Sushi
Sushi is made fresh daily with a brown rice option. Located in the Student Union, Harriman Café and Grab-N-Go coolers across campus.
Bulls on the Run
Find fruit & vegetable cups, Greek yogurt, freshly made hummus and prepared salads in coolers across campus.
Harriman Café
Stop in for a grilled chicken sandwich, veggie burger, sushi or build-your-own burrito bowl. Located on South Campus in Harriman Hall.
The Bowl
Healthy options are endless with a create-your-own salad, noodle or grain bowl. Located at the Ellicott Food Court (EFC) & Harriman Café
Crossroads Culinary Center, Governors Dining Center, Main Street Market
Vegan and vegetarian options are available daily at each of our residential dining centers. Located on North & South Campus.

Nutrition Icons to Know

Vg Vegan items contain no obvious sources of animal products or byproducts, including honey.

Vt Vegetarian items meet the definition of lacto-ovo vegetarianism, and contain no meat, poultry, fish or shellfish.

A-Plus Smart Choice items marked "A+" is our way of helping students identify the healthier options on campus. Items marked "A+" fit certain nutritional criteria and have one of the following nutritional redeeming qualities that benefits you!

  • Contains a serving of fruit or vegetable
  • Is an excellent source of whole grains and fiber
  • Meets less than or equal to 10% daily value for one or more nutrients: Calcium, Iron, Potassium and Vitamin D
  • Low in sodium: 600mg per entrée, 400mg per side and 200mg per snack
  • Fits into many diets including gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, halal and kosher

Gluten-Free GF

CDS is able to accommodate those with Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivities. Please keep in mind that recipes are not prepared in a gluten-free dedicated facility. Please notify a manager before ordering so we can take the necessary steps to prepare your meal safely. If you need to follow a strict gluten-free diet, please contact the CDS Dietitian for additional guidance.

Certified gluten-free products are available upon request:
Retail Locations: Bagels, Bread, Hamburger Roll, Cookies, and Muffins
Dining Centers: Bagels, Bread, Hamburger Roll, Pizza Crust, Cookies, Muffins, Cereal, Pasta, Meatballs, Ravioli, Grilled Chicken, Steamed Vegetables, and Brown Rice
*Packaged gluten-free products are available at The Elli and in UB Snackin' Vending Machines across campus.

Please speak to a manager to learn about additional items that can be prepared upon request. Gluten-free dedicated toasters are available in all dining & retail locations.

Sustainability & Local

Made in New York

Look for our Made In/Grown In icon

Products with this label have been grown, produced or processed in New York State. We are proud to support local growers, food artisans and manufacturers in Western New York area. Some of our New York vendors that supply our dining centers and retail dining locations include:
Buffalo: General Mills, Galbani/Sorrento Cheese, Upstate Farms, Rosina, Rich Products
Cheektowaga: Costanzo's Bakery
and over 15 family fruit/vegetable farms

Sustainability in Dining at UB

  • Composting of pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste into a soil amendment
  • Napkins made from recycled material
  • Reusable mugs, biodegradable to-go containers and china
  • 12 Reverse vending machines for plastic bottle redemption
  • Cooking oil recycled into biodiesel
  • Use environmentally friendly dish soaps and cleaning sanitizer
  • 4 local New York vending machines that feature all healthy and local New York state products
  • Reducing single use plastics


MyPlate food photoFollow These Tips to Build Your Healthy Plate at UB!

Make half your plate fruits and vegetables! Choose brightly colored fruits and vegetables often for the most health benefits!


  • All fresh, frozen, canned, dried fruit and 100% fruit juice count as a fruit serving!
  • Make most of your choices whole fruit for the benefits of dietary fiber
  • 2 cups daily*


  • All fresh, frozen, raw and cooked vegetables count towards your vegetable serving!
  • Select a variety of vegetables including: dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas) and starchy
  • 2.5 cups daily*


  • Choose oils more often than solid fats
  • 5 teaspoons daily*


  • Choose fat-free or low-fat dairy. All milk, including lactose-free, fortified soy milk, yogurt, frozen yogurt and cheeses are counted as a dairy serving. Cream, sour cream and cream cheese are not included due to low calcium content
  • 3 cups daily*


  • Make half your grains whole grains!
  • Choose whole grain foods including: whole-wheat bread, whole-grain cereals and crackers, oatmeal, quinoa, unbuttered popcorn and brown rice
  • Choose refined grains less often: white breads, refined grain cereals and crackers, pasta and white rice
  • 6 servings daily*


  • Choose a variety of protein foods including: seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), unsalted nuts, seeds and soy products
  • If you are vegan or vegetarian, legumes can be considered part of this group or the vegetable group
  • 5.5 oz daily*
*Recommendations are based on a 2,000 calorie diet and USDA’s healthy eating pattern. Visit for serving equivalents.

Allergen Guide

Our Philosophy:
UB Campus Dining & Shops (CDS) is committed to making accommodations to meet the dietary needs of students with medically documented food-related allergies or intolerances. We work together to provide reasonable arrangements for students so they may participate in college dining as much as possible.
Our goal is to provide the necessary information and individualized services so students can be successful in the active management of their food allergy (ies).

Our Environment:
Be mindful of cross-contact in all dining locations. Cross-contact occurs when an allergen is inadvertently transferred from one food product to another. Due to the self-serve nature of the dining centers, cross-contact is possible. Campus Dining educates all food service staff on food allergies, best practices during preparation and service of meals to reduce these risks.

Dining Services
The following services are available through UB Campus Dining to help manage your food allergy (ies):

  1. An on campus Registered Dietitian is available to develop an individualized plan and help navigate menus in CDS dining locations.
  2. Dining Managers and Executive Chefs are available to answer your questions.
  3. NetNutrition is an online tool that is available to view menus, allergen and ingredient information.
  4. Nutrition signs will alert you of the 8 major allergens plus gluten and sesame.
  5. Upon request, dining staff will change gloves, use fresh cooking utensils or pans. New products can also be requested to avoid concerns of cross-contact at self-serve stations.
  6. CDS educates all food service staff on the severity of foods allergies.

Student Management:
Student responsibilities when managing food allergies:

  1. Notify CDS’s Registered Dietitian of your food allergy (ies).
  2. Be proficient in the self-management of your food allergy(ies) including:
    • Avoidance of foods to which you are allergic.
    • If you have been prescribed an EpiPen, carry it with you at all times.
    • If you notice something that is problematic, please notify CDS so they can address your concern.
  3. Read nutrition information to be better informed.
  4. Review the menu before you arrive to the dining center. Please keep in mind that it may take extra time to have special menu items prepared.
  5. Please speak to a Dining Manager before ordering in all CDS locations.
  6. Please direct all questions to the Executive Chef, Registered Dietitian or Manager on duty.
In Case of a Reaction: If you are exhibiting symptoms of an allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis:
  1. Immediately seek help — Signal someone to call Campus Police at 645-2222.
  2. Administer your EpiPen. Consider taking an anti-histamine, after epinephrine.
  3. Notify CDS as soon as possible about your experience.
Additional Tips:
  • Be your own advocate!
  • Don't be shy to create relationships with UB Campus Dining staff. This will help make your dining experience less stressful. We are here to help and we look forward to working with you!
  • Until you become familiar with CDS dining locations and menus, arriving at less busy times is optimal.

Food Allergies

Students are encouraged to read allergen information and speak to a manager before selecting:

Wheat: Menu options containing wheat and gluten will be labeled. Common items containing wheat include: bread, bagels, soy sauce, gravy and pasta. Please speak to a manager for gluten-free options.

Milk: Please read nutrition signage and ingredient information to avoid menu options that contain dairy. Soy milk and almond milk are available for those who are dairy-free.

Peanut: Students with peanut allergies are advised to refrain from bakery items that contain or may have come into contact with peanuts. Peanut butter is also served in the dining centers and certain retail locations. Please check nutrition signage and speak to a manager before making menu selections.

Corn: Please contact the CDS Registered Dietitian if you need to avoid corn and corn derived ingredients.

Tree Nuts: Students with tree nut allergies are advised to refrain from bakery items that contain or may have come into contact with tree nuts. Please be mindful that ice cream, salad and oatmeal topping bars may contain tree nuts. Coconut is also identified under this category. Please check nutrition signage and speak to a manager before making menu selections.

Sesame: Sesame seeds and sesame oil may be present in bagels, hummus, Asian cuisine and sushi. Items containing sesame will be labeled.

Soy: Soy is found in menu options such as soy sauce, edamame and tofu. Highly refined soybean oil is not required to be labeled as an allergen. Most individuals allergic to soy can also safely consume soy lecithin.

Shellfish: Shellfish (e.g. lobster, shrimp crab) may be found in pasta dishes and premier entrées in the dining centers. Mollusks (e.g. scallops, clams) are not considered major allergens under food labeling laws. Please read nutrition signage and speak to a manager before making menu selections.

Fish: Fish is incorporated into our menus along with Worcestershire and fish sauce. Please read nutrition signage and speak to a manager before making menu selections.

Egg: Eggs may be present in baked items, breakfast dishes, fried rice, ice cream and mayonnaise. Pasta and deep fried products may contain traces of egg.

*Fryer Oil: Use caution with deep fried foods (e.g. french fries, onion rings, etc.). Fryer oil is used for multiple types of foods which can lead to cross-contact.


NetNutrition is an interactive nutrition website that filters menu items by specific allergens and dietary preferences. This online tool also allows you to view menus, look up ingredients and track your food intake using Meal Nutrition!
Please visit, the nutrition kiosk in your dining center, or the UB Mobile app.

Note: Every effort is made to frequently update nutrition, allergen and ingredient information. Accuracy of the information cannot be guaranteed due to substitutions, cooking methods or changes to products and/or manufactured ingredients. In addition, we use manufacturer food labels to identify allergens.

Employee Training

Our managers have gone through the AllerTrainU certification course.

This training covers essential information on how to safely serve students with special dietary needs including food allergies, intolerances, sensitivities, and Celiac Disease in a university food service setting.

Dining Initiatives

Spice Station photo

Sodium Reduction in Communities Program (SRCP)
The University at Buffalo Campus Dining and Shops partnered with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County to increase access to healthier food choices through the Sodium Reduction in Communities Program.

The Sodium Reduction Initiative consists of product replacement and recipe modification. The following products were purchased which resulted in a significant sodium reduction across campus:

  • Low sodium deli turkey
  • Reduced sodium wraps
  • No salt added spaghetti sauce
  • No salt added marinara sauce
  • Introduction of spice stations
  • Reduced sodium ham
  • Fresh burger patty
  • Low sodium ketchup
  • Low sodium bases

Why Reduce Sodium? In Erie County, cardiovascular disease accounts for 32% of all deaths. Reducing high blood pressure can reduce a persons risk of developing heart disease. Cutting back on sodium intake is one avenue in preventing and reducing high blood pressure. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults should aim for 2,300mg of sodium each day.


Campus Dining & Shops: Students with food allergies, Celiac Disease or other dietary needs that would like more information on dining accommodations should contact: Lori Bendersky, MS, RD, CDN at: or call (716) 645-6445. For more nutrition information please visit:

Health Promotion: Nutrition assessment, counseling for food allergies and other dietary concerns are available with Janice Cochran, MS, RD. For an appointment, call (716) 645-2837 x 0 or visit

Accessibility Resources: For special accommodations and more information related to a food allergy or sensitivity, call (716) 645-2608 or visit