Mandatory meal plan exemption and dietary restriction meal program

Food Services is committed to providing a wide variety of food options for students with mandatory meal plans. If you have special dietary requirements based on your health or your religion—for example, you have celiac disease or food allergies or you follow a Kosher diet, you may be entitled to an exemption from a mandatory meal plan or be able to access  our dietary restriction meal program.

The Dining Hall provides a variety of choices for Halal, vegetarian and vegan diets as well as for mild food intolerances, so exemptions are not provided in these cases. 

Food allergies and celiac disease

If you have celiac disease or any of the food allergies listed below and you have a mandatory meal plan, you can apply for access to the dietary restriction meal program. This program offers carefully prepared allergen-safe meals that can be pre-ordered using a free app. Meals are hot and ready in the Dining Hall when you are!

Food allergies accommodated through the dietary restriction meal program:

  • Peanut or tree nut allergy
  • Gluten or wheat allergy
  • Milk allergy
  • Egg allergy

NOTE: We recommend, however, that students with these dietary restrictions consider selecting a residence in which a meal plan is optional, as access to this program is not guaranteed.

Meal plan exemptions

If you have allergies other than those listed above, multiple food allergies or religious dietary requirements, such as a Kosher diet, that cannot be met in the Dining Hall, you can apply for an exemption from the mandatory meal plan.

Because requests for an exemption may be denied, Food Services strongly recommends that you email our dietitian and food liaison officer before making a choice of residence or accepting a room in residence. Act early! Changes of residence are based on availability at the time of request.

Applying for a meal plan exemption or for the dietary restriction meal program

To request an exemption or apply for the dietary restriction meal program, you must:

  • Email our dietitian and food liaison officer to obtain the application form.
  • Return the necessary documentation from your medical doctor, nurse practitioner or religious leader to our dietitian and food liaison officer.

You may be required to meet with the dietitian and food liaison officer in person or by telephone. If you provide insufficient supporting documentation, the University may require you to be assessed by a health care professional at the University of Ottawa Health Services, which may include referral to a food allergy specialist for testing and could delay the application process.  

Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, and there are no guarantees your application will be approved. Requests are processed within 10 business days. If you’re application is approved and you’re entitled to a refund for the cost of your meal plan, it will be prorated based on the date access to the 24/7 Dining Hall was terminated. 

Other dietary concerns? Meet our dietitian

If you have any dietary requirements or have general concerns or questions about the mandatory meal plan meeting your needs, please email our dietitian and food liaison officer for personalized advice. 

Use of your personal information

Your personal information is used to verify your need for exemption or accommodation and may be shared with University services and staff for this purpose. Your personal information is collected by the University under the authority of the University of Ottawa Act, 1965, in accordance with and for the purposes mentioned in the University’s Policy 90, Access to Information and Privacy Policy. Questions regarding the collection and use of your personal information for meal plan exemptions or accommodation should be addressed to University of Ottawa Food Services.  

Allergy Meal Program

Welcome to the Allergy Meal Program! 

In order to make your university experience the best it can be, uOttawa has created a unique and high-quality Allergy Meal Program.

To prevent cross-contamination, your meals will be  prepared in a separate and locked room in the central kitchen with recipes and ingredients that have been carefully screened by our registered dietitians. All our staff members have been trained to prevent cross-contamination at every step and receive continuous monitoring and feedback.

Contact our dietitian and food liaison officer for more information.

FAQ - Dietary Restriction

I am vegan, will the Dining Hall have options for me?

Yes, the Dining Hall has several vegan options available at all meal periods, from made-to-order options, vegan tacos, curries, and soups. There are usually beans, nuts and seeds available, and a constant supply of crunchy peanut butter.

I can only eat halal meat, will the Dining Hall have options for me?

Yes, the Dining Hall serves halal chicken and beef in the regular rotation, as well as offering fish and vegetarian options. Halal options are identified in the online menu and on electronic menus in the Dining Hall.

I follow a special diet. Can I be accommodated / get an exemption from the mandatory meal plan?

The Dining Hall is able to accommodate most dietary preferences like following a vegan, vegetarian or Halal diet. However, we cannot accommodate the kosher diet. We recommend students following this diet to opt for a residence that does not have a mandatory meal plan. Please note that you cannot get an exemption from the mandatory meal plan on the grounds of being vegan or requiring a halal diet.

With our dietary restriction program, we are also able to meet the needs of individuals with allergies to eggs, dairy, nuts or gluten.

Students suffering from allergies or that have celiac disease, should contact the Dietitian to get more information and a personalized service.

I am following a special diet because I am in training. Can I get an exemption from the mandatory meal plan?

No, you cannot be exempted from the mandatory meal plan based on preferences. You can choose to stay in any of the residences with an optional meal plan. If you would like to discuss the issue further, contact the Dietitian.

If I register for the Dietary Restriction Program, can I still use the Dining Hall?

Yes, you are welcome to use the Dining Hall and enjoy all the safe options available.

What does it cost to join the Dietary Restriction Program?

Access to the program is free with the purchase of a 5 or 7-day meal plan.

How do I register for the Dietary Restriction Program?

Contact information

If you require any further information, please contact our dietitian and food liaison officer.

Maryann Moffitt, RD
University of Ottawa
85 University (Room 330)
Ottawa ON  K1N 6N5
Telephone: 613-562-5800 ext. 4404
Fax: 613-562-5157

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