Source: Architect Photographer Thomas Holdsworth
Source: Architect Photographer Thomas Holdsworth

West Chester University (WCU), the largest member of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, recently received Certified Free From™ (CFF) certification. More than 17,000 undergraduate and graduate students were enrolled in the fall of 2023 at the University, which is located in southeastern Pennsylvania. WCU has been working to enhance food allergen safety practices on campus. Recently, the University sought the services of MenuTrinfo® for certification.

Source: Architect Photographer Thomas Holdsworth

WCU recognizes the importance of food allergen safety for its students, faculty, and guests. In June of 2022, the school opened the Commons Dining Hall, which excludes peanuts and tree nuts from both production and storage. After learning about the Certified Free From™ certification offered by MenuTrinfo®, the University embraced its implementation given the school’s commitment to remove all nuts from the dining facility.

According to WCU’s Campus Dietitian, Nora Abraham, “we chose to pursue the certification to take our program to the next level. We wanted our students and guests with allergies to feel confident in their dining experience with us. The campus added a role of a full-time Campus Dietitian after returning post-pandemic (Fall 2021) to strengthen culinary, student, and University involvement.”

The University was clearly on track to ensure that individuals could find allergen-free dining locations on campus. With additional updates to buildings came changes to the dining services offered. “Last year, the University opened the Sciences & Engineering Center and The Commons –the largest building project in the more than 150-year history of the University. WCU’s recent enrollment growth created the need for improved and larger dining services, as well as expanded meeting spaces,” shared Abraham.

After building new facilities to accommodate student growth, the next phase focused on accommodating students with food allergies.

MenuTrinfo® is the only one of its kind that can certify a kitchen, location, or area free from major allergens. West Chester is the first Aramark account to have an entire dedicated dining facility Certified Free From™ peanuts and tree nuts. They recognized the value of the certification and took the initiative to be a leader in the space of collegiate hospitality.

“When I meet with students who have peanut or tree nut allergies and explain the process to them, they are extremely impressed and relieved with the measures that we have taken to ensure their safety.”

– Nora Abraham, Campus Dietitian

MenuTrinfo® precisely offers the certification WCU needed to, as Abraham put it, “take [their] program to the next level.” The certification has had an overall positive effect at the campus’ dining halls. “So far, the feedback has been great!” Abraham claimed. “When I meet with students who have peanut or tree nut allergies and explain the process to them, they are extremely impressed and relieved with the measures that we have taken to ensure their safety. Furthermore, their parents are more confident in their dining experiences at our Commons location.”

MenuTrinfo® is the only game in town when it comes to Certified Free From™ certification. They can certify that institutions like WCU are providing a safe environment for people with food allergies. The CFF seal is an indication of the great amount of time, effort, and energy spent to ensure safety for those with food allergies. WCU sought to keep their students, faculty, and guests safe while dining on campus, and MenuTrinfo® provided the certification needed to make that happen.