Food Allergy FAQs

Going to college with a food allergy can seem like a big challenge, regardless of how long you’ve had your allergy and the steps you have taken to manage the foods you eat.   We have staff in the residence halls, in the dining halls, and in our security and police services who are aware and trained about food allergies.

Here are some basic questions and answers you should know.

How can I find a roommate who will understand my allergy?

We ask a question on our roommate finder that you can use to look for possible roommates. As well as other questions to see if they would be a potential match for you.   You can also request a specific roommate if you have one in mind.

 

How do I disclose my allergy?

It depends on what you need.  

  • If you are requesting an accommodation for your residence hall housing, please complete a Documentation for Accommodation Needs form.   This will also trigger outreach from a registered dietician from Michigan Dining.   Please note that not all health conditions require a special residence hall placement
  • If you do not require a housing accomodation but wish to consult with our registered Dieticians, please review the information on the MDining website.
  • You can also tell us about your allergy on your pre-checkin forms, so your residence hall staff is aware of your allergy.

How do I manage my allergy within the Dining Halls?

If you have a food allergy or require a special diet, our Registered Dietitians can provide you with the resources and information needed to make healthy food choices in the dining halls. Contact them at eatsmart@umich.edu. They can share tools such as MyNutrition and other strategies for successfully navigating our community dining experiences.

How do I manage my allergy within the Residence Halls?

Tell your RA and your roommate that you have a food allergy.  Consider having some kind of emergency plan ready, such as the one by FARE.  Also consider a medical alert bracelet or other identifier; several sources are noted on UM’s Weiser Food Allergy Center website.  No matter where you are on campus, it is essential to keep your medication close by at all times.

What if I have a reaction while I am at school?

The most important proactive action you can take is to have a plan ahead of time. Think about the following locations and what you would do:  in your residence hall, in a dining facility, exercising in one of the RecSports venues, at a sporting event (Michigan Stadium or Yost, for example), at a off-campus party close to campus. Each of these locations may have a different set of steps.   

  • Living on campus means that help is only one call away- with Housing Security in every residential area, with the UM Police Department, with Ann Arbor EMS.  
  • Housing does not place food allergic students close to the hospital- we don’t want you walking to the Emergency Department (it’s a longer walk than you think!), we want you to be escorted there in the event your case becomes more emergent.  
  • Regardless of where you live or where you are, don’t walk to the hospital! We have resources designed to get you to the hospital quickly.

What do I do in an emergency?

If the reaction is severe, call 9-1-1. Tell the dispatcher you are having an allergic reaction, name the food source and state where you are. Take your medications as prescribed.

If the reaction is not severe, take medication as prescribed and determine whether you need medical attention. For non-emergency help, call Security at 763-1131 or contact the University Health Service Allergy Clinic.

What resources are available?  




Michigan Dining offers information to address Allergies & Special Diets.

 

Through Michigan Medicine's Mary H. Weiser Food Allergy Center, Adult and Pediatric clinical services are performed at the University of Michigan Food Allergy Clinic.The team of board-certified doctors, nurses and staff deliver the best quality care and clinical services available for food allergy patients and their families.

Consult with Student Life University Health Service

University Housing is a unit of Student Life, and an equal opportunity educator and employer.

For housing related questions, please contact University Housing.
Email: housing@umich.edu
Phone: (734) 763-3164