At Davidson College, we’re committed to making the dining experience of our customers, including those with food allergies, special dietary needs, or food preferences, a great one! 

We will provide students with the tools and information needed to make good nutritional choices. Students will actively participate in the management of their diet and food needs.

Our Registered Dietitian

Students needing any type of dietary guidance are welcome to schedule a private consultation with our Registered Dietitian. Private consultations may include a tour of the dining locations to identify which foods are safe and a meeting with the chefs or any necessary managers so that you know who to contact with questions.

Getting Started

Notify Davidson College of your food allergies or dietary needs.

  • First year and transfer students, please indicate your food allergies or dietary needs on your incoming health form.
  • Current students, please contact our Registered Dietitian, Elizabeth Allred at or 704-894-3071.

Things to Know

  • The dining facilities are commercial kitchens where ingredient substitutions, recipe revisions, and cross-contact with allergens are possible. It cannot be guaranteed that any food item will be completely free of allergens.
  • Canola oil is used to fry foods. All fried foods on campus are susceptible to cross-contamination. If you have severe food allergies or are concerned about cross-contamination, you are advised to avoid fried foods.
  • Ingredient lists are available for all prepared menu items. In order to determine if a food is safe for consumption, students should refer to ingredient lists. Students are welcome to request staff to change gloves and/or utensils.
  • Open communication- You are welcome to talk to the Chefs or Managers at any time. They can help you with food and recipe questions. If you do not know who these individuals are, please ask the cashier to introduce you.
  • Special meal preparation at Vail Commons- In certain situations, menu items will need to be prepared exclusively to meet students’ dietary needs. Please contact our Registered Dietitian to review your diet prescription and discuss the procedure for individual, specially prepared meals.
  • Training- We train our staff on the importance of safety regarding food allergies. Staff are educated on preventing cross contamination, changing gloves, changing utensils and recipe substitutions.
  • Medications- Students are encouraged to carry any necessary medications with them at all times. Consider informing your friends that you normally dine with about your medical needs and the location of your medications. In an emergency situation they may be able to help verbalize your allergies to a medical professional. You are welcome to store a prescribed EpiPen in Vail Commons in the event of an emergency. You may drop off an unexpired EpiPen that includes a prescription label containing your name at the front desk of Commons.

Allergen Information

Peanut and Tree Nut Allergies     

Davidson College is not a nut free campus.  Vail Commons, Davis Café, Wildcat Den, Much Ado Catering and Patterson Court do not use nut ingredients in any cooking production. However, it is possible that ingredients may have trace amounts of nuts due to being processed in facilities that contain nuts. Prepackaged items containing nuts such as sealed peanut butter cups, prepackaged peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, snack bars, candy, nut mixes and almond milk are found on campus, and students are encouraged to read food labels.  We offer Sunbutter as a nut butter alternative. 

Milk Allergies  

Students are encouraged to refer to ingredient lists to identify dairy in recipes.We offer soy, almond, oat and lactose-free milks on campus.  We also offer a Power Plant station in Vail Commons that is 100% plant based and thus free of dairy. 

Wheat and Gluten Allergies 

Vail Commons is our largest dining facility on campus and can best accommodate wheat/gluten allergies. Students will find many items such as proteins, fruits, vegetables, beans, rice, quinoa, potatoes, corn and cereals that are naturally free of gluten. In addition, an entrée made without gluten will be offered at each meal. We keep a toaster and items made without gluten such as breads and desserts in a separate place for students to use. The menu served at the Power Plant station is made without gluten. The Davis Café and Wildcat Den offer limited menu items free of gluten.

Shellfish Allergies

Shellfish is found occasionally on a menu, usually in the form of shrimp and can be easily avoided. Our Power Plant station will never contain shellfish.

Fish Allergies  

Fish is found on menus as a main ingredient, as well as in sushi. Fish is occasionally fried. Because fried foods on campus are susceptible to cross-contamination, you are advised to avoid fried foods if you have a severe fish allergy. 

Egg Allergies

Eggs are used in cooking production. Students are encouraged to check menu and ingredient lists. Our Power Plant station is free of eggs and we always offer at least one daily vegan dessert in Vail Commons. Many breads and tortillas are free of eggs.

Soy Allergies

We use canola oil to fry food and olive or canola in recipe production. Tofu, tempeh and edamame are found on menus. Students with soy allergies are encouraged to check recipe ingredient lists and food labels of processed foods.

Vegetarian and Vegan

  • Vegetarian and vegan options are offered daily during every meal.  A full salad bar is available as well as our Power Plant, a 100% plant based station.
  • A vegetarian entrée is offered at every lunch and dinner.
  • Milk substitutes include soy, almond, oat and rice.
  • The Davis Café and Wildcat Den also have vegan and vegetarian menu items.

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