Special Dining Needs

DCCE is invested in meeting the needs of all of our diners. This protocol specifically addresses the accommodation of special dining needs. The process for initiating accommodations is the responsibility of the student and is an interactive collaboration between the student, the Office of Accessible Education and DCCE. Students are encouraged to begin this process before arriving on campus for the semester, or as soon as a new diagnosis is made during the school year. Those requesting accommodations can learn about the process and deadlines on the Accessible Education and Student Support website

The EMS and Support Services Manager serves as the point of contact in student dining for those with questions or concerns regarding Commons and dining needs. To make an appointment, students should email Kelly Perreault at kperrea2@bates.edu. Kelly will review needs and explain how to navigate the dining room.

Responsibility of DCCE

  • Actively engage with the student in a collaborative process to establish a plan for meeting their special dining needs in the form of reasonable accommodations.
  • Introduce the student to key culinary and management staff who will assist them in navigating Commons. The student will be apprised of the process for handling special dining requests, communication strategies, arrangements for special meal orders, and procurement of special products, if necessary.
  • Provide appropriate signage explaining the DCCE allergen statement and labeling conventions.
  • Train staff in allergy awareness.

Responsibility of the Student

  • Be your own advocate for your special dining needs.
  • Initiate the request for accommodations for special dining needs.
  • Provide appropriate medical documentation when requested.
  • Access Net Nutrition prior to coming to Commons, for menu and allergen information.
    • Menu cards are posted where items are served.
    • Weekly menus are also posted in Commons.
  • Be responsible for the management of your special dining needs, including:
    • Avoidance of foods that are unsafe for your condition.
    • Recognition of symptoms of dietary nonadherence or, in the case of a food allergy, an allergic reaction.
    • Knowledge of proper use of medications to treat a food allergy, if appropriate.
    • Carryinh epinephrine in the form of an EpiPen, if prescribed, for treatment of an allergic reaction. (Bates Dining is required to call Campus Security and EMS if a reaction occurs. Students are asked not to leave the facility on their own.)
    • When in the dining hall, direct specific questions about ingredients or dining needs to a manager, supervisor, or the chef.
    • Remember that Commons is a self-serve facility and be aware of cross contact.
    • Maintain communication with the EMS and Support Services Manager to keep DCCE apprised of your needs so that modifications or adjustments can be made as needed.
    • Understand that special requests may take longer to prepare.

Allergen Statement

If you have any food-related questions or specific dietary needs, contact Kelly Perreault, EMS and Support Services Manager at 207-786-6299 or via email at kperrea2@bates.edu.

Please note the manufacturers may change the formulation of foods without our knowledge. Additionally, because food is prepared in a commercial kitchen, using shared equipment, and presented in a self-service environment, there is a possibility of cross-contact with other foods and allergens.

Customers concerned about ingredients should be aware of these risks, be proactive about their food choices and speak with a Manager or Chef before consuming any food items, if they have questions. Bates DCCE labels for the top nine allergens: Dairy, Egg, Fish, Shellfish, Sesame, Soy, Peanuts, TreeNuts and Wheat*. It is ultimately the responsibility of the customers to decide what they choose to eat. Bates College does not assume any liability for adverse reactions related to foods consumed or mislabeled, or items one may come into contact with while in the DCCE operations.

*Note: Rather than directly labeling items as containing wheat, we label those that do not contain gluten as indicated below.

Please refer to the labeling system below when checking menu cards or the online menu.


The item contains peanuts 


The item contains tree nuts 


The item contains dairy


The item contains egg


The item contains pork 


The item contains fish 


The item contains shellfish – we do not differentiate between types of shellfish 


The item is vegan – contains no animal products, including honey 


The item contains coconut 


The item is gluten-free, however, we are a flour rich environment and, though we have taken every precaution, cross-contamination may occur 


The item contains soy 


The item contains sesame seeds


Please click HERE to view a pdf of the Allergen Statement.