Thank you for taking time to learn about allergen-safe and special diet accommodation options at Montana State University. Please know that you will be in good hands while you’re here, as we are confident that we will be able to provide you with a variety of balanced, customizable meals that will satisfy your nutrition needs.

As the on-staff registered dietitian nutritionist with Culinary Services, I’m happy to provide the following services at no cost to students or staff:

  • Nutrition counseling and education for any nutrition need including dietary preferences or food allergy restrictions
  • Assistance navigating dining halls and retail food service operations on campus
  • Support making healthful dietary choices while living on campus
  • Nutrition facts, ingredient information, and identified food allergens for all items served located or by clicking on CatCounter icon below
  • Nutrition presentations available upon request, for example: How to Eat for Well-Being at Montana State University

If you have questions or would like assistance finding options that fit your dietary needs I look forward to hearing from you!

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Tara Jones, RDN
Registered Dietitian, MSU Culinary Services
North Hedges, Room 1

Food Allergies? Ask Before You Eat!

The eight most common food allergens identified by the FDA that account for 90% of all reported food allergies are: egg, milk, fish, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat. Students can utilize allergen signage displayed on the meal service line to recognize food items that contain common food allergens.

If you have questions during mealtimes, any of our chefs or management team members will be ready to assist you - just ask!

Food safety training is completed with all staff regarding food allergen safety and how to assist guests. Our service staff works closely with managers and chefs at each location to know and be able to identify ingredients should a guest inquire. All supervisory staff have successfully completed the National Registry of Food Service Professionals training.

Special Diets:

We want to ensure that everyone has a safe and wonderful dining experience at MSU no matter what your dietary needs are. The dining halls feature numerous options to accommodate different diets including food allergies, nutritionally significant medical conditions, or dietary preferences.

Protocol for Students with Food Allergies and Intolerances:

  1. Arrange a nutrition consultation with Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
  2. Dietitian will assess needs, provide nutrition education, review menus and orient student to resources and services provided by Culinary Services to accommodate food allergies and intolerances
  3. Referral to dining hall manager(s) to make menu selections for the preparation and purchase of specialty products and recipes, as needed

Student Responsibilities:

  1. Avoid unsafe foods by seeking allergen/ingredient information of all foods consumed.
  2. Recognize symptoms of allergic reaction.
  3. Carry and use proper medications, if needed.
  4. Know when to inform someone of a reaction.


A balanced plate is a healthy plate. Our dining facilities offer a variety of flavorful and nutritious meals to help you achieve a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Aim to craft meals and snacks made up of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and complete proteins. CatCounter allow you to build meals around certain nutrition goals and feel confident about what each menu item contains. See more by clicking the CatCounter icon below.


Using the CatCounter web menu, items selected can be added to create an overall nutrition summary.

  1. Select the location at which you choose to dine
  2. Select all food items you plan to eat
  3. Click Nutrition Summary to view total calories for one serving of each item selected
  4. To adjust the serving size of any selected food item, click the arrow to the right of that item
  5. Adjust the quantity then click Nutrition Summary, again
  6. At the top of the screen you will see nutrition information summary


While Montana State University Culinary Services makes every attempt to accommodate students’ individualized dietary needs, please be aware that all MSU Culinary Services’ locations prepare items contacting egg, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat. Every effort is made to safely prepare and serve foods but there is always a risk of cross contamination of allergens or gluten. In addition, there is always a possibility of cross-contact and suppliers and manufacturers may substitute or modify products at any time, without notifying us. Individuals with food-related dietary concerns should be aware of these risks. Questions about ingredients should be directed to a Culinary Services Manager. It is the responsibility of the individuals with food allergies or dietary concerns to make the final judgement about whether a food item is appropriate for them.