New allergen friendly area at Cannon Center for gluten-free students

The BYU Commons at the Cannon Center is located on BYU campus by Helaman Halls. The Cannon Center recently opened an allergen-free section. (BYU Photo)

The Commons at the Cannon Center implemented a new “allergen friendly station” on Feb. 1, according to general manager Kirk Rich.

BYU sophomore Teija Bresler is allergic to gluten and dairy. Bresler found out she needed to eat gluten- and dairy-free about four years ago, and said the transition was not easy.

“It was really hard to transition from like, everything you want, and then like having very limited … things that you can eat,” she said.

Bresler encouraged those facing similar dietary restrictions to not get discouraged and to find foods they enjoy.

According to Rich, he met individually with campus residents who have celiac disease and expressed similar concerns.

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The Cannon Center’s cafeteria. Stations separate different food options. (Courtesy of the Cannon Commons at BYU Facebook page.)

“Residents who had meal plans felt like they couldn’t make a sandwich because they couldn’t guarantee that someone hadn’t already used utensils, or that particular item, in terms of regular food containing bread with it,” Rich said.

The allergen free area was implemented to prevent the cross contamination of gluten to gluten-free foods, Rich said.

“We’ve created an area where they can go and feel a little bit safer about the fact that there hasn’t been cross contact with items containing gluten,” Rich said.

Alfredo Nada works as the common’s dining hall supervisor. In addition to the allergen friendly area, Nada said they offer other options for gluten-free and vegetarian residents.

“We want to help people to provide the best experience and offer, like, to take care of them,” he said. “We’re always open to ask questions to the cooks, to ask questions to the employees.”

More allergen and nutrition information can be found on the center’s website.

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