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Case Study 3: University Dining

The Story

Jason is a food production manager at a Midwestern university dining center that serves hundreds of students daily. Students with food allergies stop by his office with concerns or recommendations regularly. Jason goes through the menu with the students, letting them know what they can and cannot have for the week. As the manager, Jason gives his staff a list of food items that they can review before going into the dining hall.

Sally, a student, went to dinner and selected chicken fingers and fries to eat. While waiting in line, she noticed the ketchup was out, and she decided to use barbeque sauce to dip her food in. She did not think twice about the food she selected, as she had eaten it all before. After her meal, she went back up to the dessert table.

Once she got back to her seat, she began trying to clear her throat and got an upset stomach. The symptoms she was feeling were not new to her. She began to wonder if she was having an allergic reaction. The only food that she is allergic to is fish, which she believed she had avoided. Little did she know, barbeque sauce can be an unexpected source of fish. Afterwards, Jason read through the list of ingredients and found out that the barbeque sauce that the university serves was the cause of Sally's reaction.


  1. Please describe what Jason could do differently to provide students with adequate allergen information.
  2. What should Sally have done to prevent this incident?
  3. What could members of the dining hall management do to prevent similar allergic reactions from occurring in the future?
  4. What should the food production manager (Jason) do after this incident?