Nutrition and Allergies

Navigating the Dining Halls

Have an allergy, or dietary preference, or would like additional nutrition information? Central Washington University has a campus dietitian, Emily Shaw MS, RDN, CD who works closely with Dining and Catering Services to ensure recipe accuracy, develop nutritional resources, and provide allergen training for the Dining Team. 

Emily is available to provide resources, answer questions, and provide individualized education and counseling for students. Including individualized consultations that walk you through each of our dining locations in detail that meet your unique needs.  To schedule a consultation with Emily reach out to her directly via email at

Allergen Disclaimer

CWU Dining Services makes an effort to identify ingredients and provide an allergy friendly dining experience. Employees are trained on safe handling procedures to minimize risk. However, because foods are prepared in a commercial kitchen there is always risk of cross contact and the possibility of the manufacturer changing their product information or consistency of ingredients without our knowledge. In addition, the foods we prepare without gluten ingredients are not certified Gluten Free. Consumers concerned about food ingredients and allergens should be aware of these risks. It is ultimately the consumer’s responsibility to determine whether ingredients or selected foods are safe for consumption. If an individual has been diagnosed by a physician with a life-threatening food allergy, this may constitute a disability under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). Dining Services complies with the ADA, which addresses the obligation to make reasonable modifications in polices, practices and procedures when necessary to accommodate students with disabilities including food allergies.
  • Allergen and Dietary Preference Indicators

    Dining Services indicate primary dietary preferences and allergens on all menus across campus. Dietary preferences indicated include Halal, vegetarian, and vegan. The top 8 allergens are indicated when present and include dairy, egg, fish, sesame, soy, wheat, shellfish, tree nuts. Please be aware that we are a peanut and peanut product-free campus except for Panda Express.

    Look for the following information on the menus available throughout Dinging Services, as well as the corresponding icons next to menu items:

    Menu Icons

  • Purple Paw

    An icon of the purple paw program with text asking, "do you have an allergy"? Dining Services launched Purple Paw in January 2023. This program decreases allergen cross-contact by using easily identifiable purple equipment and prep space for meals. Students, faculty, and staff can ask for Dining Services staff members who wear a purple paw pin, signifying they are specially trained to prepare their food.

  • Halal Meat Options

    An icon for Halal meat.

    Dining began offering Halal meat options in January 2023. Halal chicken can be found at Central Marketplace's El Gato and Quesadilla locations, as well as Sesame Ginger and dinner at Comfort Kitchen in Holmes Dining Room. Look for the 'H' icon next to the menu items.

  • Nutrition Counselling

    The Registered Dietitian provides medical nutrition therapy/nutrition education to clients (staff, faculty, students) on the CWU campus for conditions such as weight management, hypertension, diabetes, and eating disorders. Clients are also seen on an individual basis for food allergies, customizing food likes/dislikes to Dining Services menus, vegetarian dietary needs, and special dietary requirements. These are on an appointment-only basis and referral from the Health & Counseling Center.

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