Special Diet Information

The Bowdoin Dining Halls have strong standard policies that address special diet concerns.

Types of Special Dietary Needs

  1. Food Allergies and Autoimmune Disorders such as Celiac Disease and Diabetes
  2. Food Intolerances such as Gluten or Lactose
  3. Medical issues that may impact food choices such as Colitis, IBS, Broken Jaw

Food Labeling and Menu Policies


  • In a rare event, entrees with peanuts or tree nuts are occassionally served.  The recipe name includes the word "nuts" or the specific type of nut.
  • No peanut oil or nut oils are used in any recipe.
  • Due to the possibility of cross contact in the bakeshop, desserts may possibly come in contact with nut residue and should be avoided.  


  • Both Dining halls are shellfish free except for special events.


  • Entrees and soups prepared without gluten are labeled “NGI” for “no-gluten-ingredients”.  These are safe for those with wheat allergies and gluten sensitivity.


  • All items labeled “Vegan” are dairy-free.
  • Non-dairy milks such as Rice Milk and Soy Milk are available in the special diet refrigerator.
  • Sorbet is available whenever ice cream is served.
  • Choices with non-dairy ingredients are available.
  • Plain fruits, vegetables and grains are available at the salad bar.


  • Canola, olive and sesame oils are used in recipes.
  • Pan spray currently contains soy. 
  • Most soups are started with stock bases that contain soy.  Check with the Head Chef or Assistant Chef for ingredients.
  • Avoid dishes that are Asian-inspired: Chinese, Korean, Thai.
  • Fry oil is not soy-based but could contain soy particles from foods that have been fried in oil.
  • Meats with sauces are usually available without the sauce.
  • Udi's breads are available that are soy-free.
  • Magellan (or Empire) tuna in vegetable broth (peas, carrots, broth) does not contain soy.


  • Foods containing sesame  and coconut are labeled.


  • Gluten free meals can be prepared for guests with Celiac Disease. To insure safety, communicate directly with the Head Chef or Assistant chef.  
  • Gluten-free breads and cereals are available.
  • Single-service frozen gluten-free meals are also available.  Cook time is about 20 minutes.
  • Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders and Pizza are served when regular chicken tenders and pizza are on the menu and can also be obtained upon request.


  • Please check with Head Chef or Assistant Chef for recipe ingredients before eating mixed casseroles, composed salads or other dishes with mixed ingredients.


Availability of Special Food Items


  • Rice milk, soy milk, almond milk


  • Gluten-free breads, GF cereals, GF desserts are available daily


  • Nut-free breads and cereals, Sunbutter, single-serve condiments and desserts are available.

Who should set up an appointment with our Registered Dietitian, Susanne D'Angelo-Cooley, M.S., R.D.N., L.D., C.D.E.?

  1. Anyone with a life threatening allergy carrying an epi-pen
  2. Students with Celiac Disease
  3. Those with severe or multiple food allergies
  4. Those with other serious food issues that can affect health

When we meet I’ll obtain your dietary history and dietary needs and document that for the kitchen “special diets” book; you will be introduced to key staff in each kitchen and have a kitchen tour, read labels and determine what special items we may need to obtain.

Who should you talk with if you have questions in the dining hall?

ALWAYS, ask for the Head Chef or Assistant Chef. They are trained to answer your questions about food and ingredients, to obtain what you need, to communicate with me and to oversee the rest of the production staff.

Thorne Hall: Culinary Manager Isaac Aldrich, Head Chef Trevor Williams, Assistant Chef Anita Ericson-York.  The kitchen phone is (207) 725-3430.

Moulton Union: Operations Manager/Dietitian Susanne D'Angelo-Cooley, M.S., R.D.N, L.D., C.D.E., Culinary Manager Daran Poulin, Head Chef Michael Quill, Assistant Chef Keith Langston. The kitchen phone is (207) 725-3735.

Feel free to contact our Registered Dietitian, Susanne D'Angelo-Cooley, if you have a question. (207) 725-3542 or at sdangelo@bowdoin.edu