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Food allergies grew 18% from 1997-2007 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). As the prevalence of food allergies continues to grow, college students with diagnosed food allergies are having difficulty finding allergen friendly foods in college campus food service (Food Allergy Research & Education, 2014). In order to find the relationship between food allergy communication and prevalence of allergen friendly food on a college campus, a mixed method design was used for this research study. A researcher constructed questionnaire was piloted to senior dietetic students (n=8) for question clarity. Questions were then adjusted for clarity. A convenience sample of undergraduate students was recruited from a small Midwestern university (n=94). Questions addressed diagnosed food allergies, reporting to campus food service, and availability of allergen friendly food. A frequency distribution was used to organize the data. Thirty six of 94 (38.3%) participants reported having a food allergy or intolerance, 28 of 36 (77.8%) did not report their food allergy or intolerance to food service, four (11%) did report their food allergy or intolerance to food service, four (11%) did not respond to this question. Of the four (11%) reporting their allergy or intolerance, three (75%) found allergen friendly foods available on campus, one (3.6%) did not. Qualitatively, an interview with the campus dietitian and university food manager was conducted. Questions asked included “How do students report food allergies to food service?”; “How are food allergy accommodations handled”? Responses were transcribed, coded and reviewed for themes concerning food allergy reporting and allergen friendly food availability. Themes revealed pathways to report food allergies are available via campus dietitian or student development. Once reported action is taken. Reporting pathways are available but underutilized. Availability of allergen friendly foods can improve through student communication with Food service. An emerging problem may be that college students under report food allergies

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Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.