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The Copper Hood


The Copper Hood, our Allergy-Friendly and Gluten Free station, was developed to make life and eating easier for those with allergies and intolerances. All "Big 8" allergens are excluded from this station. 

Many Daily Menu Options

A different entrée selection at both lunch and dinner at all three residential restaurants gives students a Grounds-wide total of six options every day. These menus are posted online along with all others. Nutritional information, including full listing of ingredients for this station, is now available online and at each Copper Hood station.

Created for You

All students can partake from this station, but it was especially created for students with food allergies and intolerances. It provides another option where students with allergies and intolerances can grab a meal if it fits their requirements, without having to speak to the chefs or get a specialized meal that day.

First Step in Eating Safe

Remember, the first step is to meet with our nutritionist, Paula Caravati, so that she can work with you to find your best option for dining. The Copper Hood is a wonderful addition to the Allergen Free program, but it should be used in conjunction with specialized meal planning with Paula Caravati and U.Va. Dining Chefs.

For Copper Hood Menu Items, Nutritional Information and Ingredient Listing, please view this PDF. Please note that this PDF lists full ingredients. Our online daily menu offerings only show a brief description versus a complete ingredient listing. 

Employee Training for Food Safety and the Copper Hood Station

All U.Va. Dining employees have received comprehensive Food Safety training. Continuous education is paramount: daily refreshers on the importance of food safety are executed and facilitated training sessions are held throughout the semester.

All employees that work at the Copper Hood Station have received training from MenuTrinfo – an organization that was grant-funded in part by FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) All managers at the residential locations have received the full intensive certified training from “AllerTrain U: Allergen and Gluten Free Service Certified Training.”

Students with allergies and intolerances can be confident that we have trained our staff and execute re-trainings in pursuit of continuous improvement. We work together as a team to ensure that all students are well-nourished, using our products and brands that we purchase, without exception. This approach maintains that all food safety policies and requirements can be managed and executed.

Food safety is our number one priority for students with food allergies. Our entire philosophy is built from the foundation of Safety First; and our goal is to provide students with the tools that they need to be active in the management of their food allergy. In this manner, we can provide a safe and supportive transition into college life.

Allergy-Friendly Preparation

Allergy-Friendly (AF) Preparation is done with clean and sanitized implements; no ingredient comes into contact with any surface or implement that is not specific to the meal being prepared. Our AF cookware is clearly identifiable - it’s purple. That visual representation helps students and employees alike understand that purple and AF always go together.


Our Copper Hood stations at Fresh Food Co., O’Hill Dining Room, and Runk Dining Room are free of the “BIG 8” Allergens and are Gluten-Free. All products used in the entrees and sides at this station are vetted thoroughly by U.Va. Dining’s Nutritionist, Dr. Paula Caravati. All employees who work at this station are trained extensively and repeatedly using the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) ServSafe and AllerTrain programs. All cooking spaces, equipment and utensils are properly cleaned, stored and disinfected according to FARE and food safety standards. We take immense pride in our Copper Hood program and will continue to expand the menu selection and improve the experience for our students with food allergies and intolerances.

At your request, we have included the Copper Hood menu in our online listing for these locations on our website. This means that the following disclaimer is displayed at the bottom of each menu item: Aramark relies on our vendors' allergy warning and ingredient listings. Because we operate a commercial kitchen where ingredient substitutions, recipe revisions and cross-contact with allergens is possible, Aramark cannot guarantee that any food item will be completely free of allergens. However, as noted above, at U.Va. Dining we vet each product with the vendor annually. We also work personally with the students to ensure their needs are being met – at the Copper Hood and all other stations in our dining rooms. Please reach out to us at dining@virginia.edu if you have any questions regarding our dining program.