Dining With Allergies


Dining Halls are the safest location to dine for those with allergies and other dietary needs, as chefs are accessible at all times with access to dedicated kitchen equipment.

Retail locations do not have the same infrastructure to prepare meals as safely as our dining halls for those with allergies, celiac disease, or other food-related health conditions where cross contamination is of concern. The following Queen’s proprietary locations have chefs on staff: The Lazy Scholar, Location 21, Flip!t, Wally’s: 7:30-11am.

However, due to ongoing labour shortages, there may be gaps during which time a chef is unavailable at a food location to prepare a special meal or confirm the allergen and dietary safety precautions. You will be redirected to the dining hall or an alternate retail location where a chef can safely prepare your meal. Your safety is of utmost priority. Just be sure to Ask Before You Eat.

As needed, you may always consider calling the dining hall 30 minutes before arriving to ask what is safe to order at that meal period and to have your meal prepared with your specific allergy or dietary need in mind.  

  • Ban Righ – 613-533-6000 ext. 74567 
  • Leonard – 613-533-6000 ext. 74585 
  • Jean Royce – 613-533-6000 ext. 74991 

What Can You Do?

A team approach, led by you, our educated consumer, is the best preparation for a safe school year free of allergic reactions. Some steps you can take throughout the year include:

Step 1: Carry Your Medication

Always carry your epinephrine auto-injector (2 is recommended), just in case. The Queen’s Emergency Report Centre is available 24 hours a day. In the event of an emergency, call 613-533-6111 or use the Blue Light Emergency Phone. Download the SeQure App for quick access to Campus Security and Emergency Services resources.

Step 2: Book an Appointment 

If you haven’t already done so, be sure to book a one-on-one confidential appointment with our Hospitality Services’ Registered Dietitian. You will be provided with information and assistance to ensure you have safe, delicious, and nutritious choices across campus.

Email: dining@queensu.ca
Phone: 613-533-2953
Location: Victoria Hall, Room E022

Step 3: Review Allergen Labels

Review allergen labels displayed at each station in the dining hall before choosing your meal each day. The following allergens are labelled: peanuts, tree nuts, mustard, milk, eggs, soy, sesame, wheat (gluten), fish, shellfish, sulphites. Never consume foods that do not have allergen information displayed and be aware of the risk of cross-contamination, especially for areas of self serve. While we make every effort to reduce cross-contamination of food allergens, we rely on manufacturer ingredient details, and there is always the potential for cross-contamination with other allergen-containing food items. Students with anaphylactic allergies are encouraged to ask for the chef who can gather ingredients from back up ingredients and take additional precautions to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

Step 4: Ask Before You Eat

Ask to speak with a chef or manager prior to placing your order each day to discuss safe dining options as ingredients could vary at any given meal. The only way your food server will know of your allergies is if you tell them. The chef is wearing the tall white hat! In Ban Righ Dining Hall, you can ask the cashier or employee at true balance to call for a chef. In Leonard Dining Hall, ask the employee at true balance to call for a chef as well. At Jean Royce Dining Hall, you can ask the staff member at the entree line to call for a chef. Meet the dining hall team.

Step 5: Wear an Identifier 

Consider wearing medical identification (e.g. MedicAlert bracelet or necklace).

Step 6: Tell Others

Tell those you have regular contact with about your allergy including don, roommate, floor mate, housemate, teammate and friends. Let them know where you keep your medication so they can quickly help you in the event of a reaction. If they have not used an epinephrine auto injector, they can learn by watching this how-to video.

Resources on Food Allergy Canada for more ways to stay safe when away from home
Read the Queen’s Severe Allergy Policy (2021)

If you require room accommodation as part of your allergy management, please visit the residence accommodation page to access the required form and instructions.

We want to create an exceptional dining experience for you and knowing about your food allergy/dietary needs will help us do just that!


Queen’s Hospitality Services understands the seriousness of food allergies. A team approach is the best preparation for a safe school year free of allergic reactions.

Hospitality Services makes every effort is made to instruct our food production team on the severity of food allergies and safe handling procedures. Our chefs and management team are also AllerTrain certified on managing food allergens and gluten.

However, there is always a risk of cross contamination due to the nature of the business as Hospitality Services does not have an allergen free facility. There is also a risk that sourced foods from manufacturers we use could change the formulation at any time without our knowledge. Therefore, we cannot assume any liability for adverse reactions.

Although Hospitality Services makes every effort to identify ingredients and avoid cross-contamination, it is the responsibility of any individual with food allergies to self identify and ask for assistance when ordering food. Customers with allergies need to be aware of the risks, need to be diligent in managing their diet and are encouraged to carry their epinephrine device at all times. Customers are encouraged to “Ask Before you Eat”: please ask to speak with a Chef or Manager when in doubt. Customers can also book an appointment with the Hospitality Services’ Registered Dietitian for further support.  It is better to err on the side of caution than take risks when it comes to food safety.

We will do our best to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable experience when visiting our foodservice locations.

If you have further questions about Hospitality Services Allergy Program, please email dining@queensu.ca.

Colin Johnson
Campus Executive Chef

Colin has been with Queen’s since 1993, and is the Allergy and Alternative Diets contact for students and parents. A Red Seal certified chef, Colin worked in several restaurant kitchens before joining the university as a Sous Chef. He has held a number of positions within Hospitality Services, and has been the Campus Executive Chef since 2006.

Along with training from George Brown and the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Colin was named Sodexo Chef of the Year in 2004 and 2010, and was the team leader on the Silver Medal and People’s Choice winner team for the 2008 Canadian College and University Food Services Association’s Chef Competition. He was also a member of the Silver Medal team on the 2002 North America Culinary Competition, and the Executive Sous Chef at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Colin is passionate about local food, and also loves catching the latest Alton Brown episode on the Food Network. His favourite food is braised lamb shanks – and if you ask him, he’d be glad to give you the perfect recipe.

Theresa Couto, RD
Wellness & Sustainability Manager

Theresa is a Registered Dietitian and the Wellness and Sustainability Manager for Queen’s University. She is passionate about connecting with and helping others and is excited to help students navigate the meal plan to meet their dietary needs and preferences.

She completed a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics and later completed her clinical dietetic internship in Toronto.

Theresa has been practicing as a Registered Dietitian for the last 9 years. She has a love of all things food and believes food fuels the soul as much as it fuels the body! She is a firm believer in a balanced approach to eating and the interconnectedness of food and nutrition with mental and physical well-being.

Theresa loves to go on hikes with her dog Archie and enjoys “zening” out with yoga.

Theresa’s confidential nutrition appointments are limited to students on a meal plan, eating on campus. She is happy to discuss the many food service options available to students. Book a virtual appointment with her by clicking the link below!

For students with an allergy / dietary need, book an appointment with our team here:

Queen’s University Hospitality Services takes food allergies very seriously. We understand the importance of providing nutritious choices across campus that meet your dietary needs. We ask that you also follow your steps 3 and 4 each day. Together, we can create a safe and exceptional dining experience for you.

Food photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com

Dietitian & Allergy Appointment Buy Flex $
& Campus Meal Plans