Fitzwilliam was named joint winner of the 2015 FreeFrom Eating Out Award in the Schools, Colleges and Universities category.
The prestigious award was presented to Catering Manager Rob Clarke by celebrity chef Anthony Worrall Thompson at the Food Matters Live Event on 17 November 2015 at Excel in London.
The FreeFrom Eating Out Awards were launched to raise awareness of the huge opportunities offered by 'freefrom' food within the food service sector now that the new allergen regulations affecting food service have come into force.
To be eligible the College had to offer a minimum of three gluten-free and two dairy- and egg-free savoury dishes and three gluten-free and two dairy- and egg-free sweet dishes each day and have an emergency protocol for dealing with allergic reactions.
The citation for Fitzwilliam is as follows:
"Excellent allergen awareness – in line with the university's very enlightened approach to managing food allergy. (Generic auto-injectors are available throughout the campus for use in emergencies; university staff are trained in their use.) Tight control procedures using the Saffron system allow tracking of all allergens – and allow students/guests to access that information via an app. Really good, safe systems but still exciting and interesting food."
In 2014 new legislation came into force extending the requirement for listing allergens to all food sold unpackaged in catering outlets, including coffee shops and college canteens. There are fourteen listed allergens, including celery, mustard and lupin.
Catering Manager Rob Clarke said: “The law is a major change for all food service providers – and we serve around 2,600 meals per week. I am delighted that the Saffron system, which we have been using at Fitzwilliam for four years, has enabled us to provide detailed dietary information to all our students. We have a QR code system which enables everyone to check ingredients, allergens and nutritional information on their smartphones or on the website before they come in for meals.”
The award was shared with Eden Food Service.