Students with food allergies at Michigan State University (MSU) don’t have to worry about eating food on campus anymore, because MSU is opening its first allergen-free dining hall on Monday, July 8.  

One in eight students at MSU have some sort of food allergies, according to Gina Keilen, the university’s dietitian for culinary services.  

The new dining hall, Thrive, is intended to make students feel more welcome, Keilen said.  

It's located in Riverwalk Market at Owen Hall. 

Thrive MSU
Thrive is MSU's new allergen free dining option.
Courtesy of MSU

It will serve food that is free from the top eight allergens:

  • Milk  
  • Eggs  
  • Soy  
  • Wheat  
  • Peanuts  
  • Tree nuts 
  • Fish  
  • Shell fish 

The facility is also certified gluten-free, meaning that students with celiac disease - a disease that affects one in 133 Americans - don’t have to worry about the risk of cross-contamination.  

Thrive will host three venues that will offer a variety of foods, according to MSU:  

  • Mashed potatoes  
  • Roast turkey  
  • Chipotle lime pork tostados
  • Grain bowls  
  • Nachos  
  • Vegan "crab" cakes 
  • Risotto bowls
  • Allergen-free mac and cheese 

Thrive will be certified by Kitchens With Confidence, a third-party accreditor that will regularly verify that it is cooking and preparing food free of these allergens, according to Eat at State. 

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