Provide alternative food choices to individuals with dietary restrictions or food allergies.
This WELL feature requires the provision of meal alternatives and enhanced nutritional transparency when meals or catering are provided.
Individuals with food allergies, intolerances or dietary restrictions may encounter difficulty in finding suitable meal options outside of the home setting. The World Allergy Organization reports that the prevalence of food allergies is increasing in countries around the world. Additionally, a growing number of individuals are omitting certain ingredients or following special diets for a variety of personal, health, social and environmental reasons. Such dietary exclusion or restriction may have nutritional consequences and lead to a nutritionally deficient diet. Dietary guidelines increasingly recognize a variety of healthy eating patterns, such as the Mediterranean-style and vegetarian eating patterns, that can help ensure an individual’s diet is both nutritionally adequate and enjoyable.
Meal alternatives for common food allergies or intolerances and dietary restrictions can help accommodate individual dietary preferences and ensure the availability of meal options and balanced meals for everyone. Alternatives can minimize the stress and worry associated with food and dietary restrictions and allow individuals to focus on their work and tasks at hand. Suitable meal options can also minimize the risk of individuals consuming potentially harmful foods. To further reduce barriers to special dietary needs, alternative food items can be offered at the same or similar price as standard items. On-site registered dietitians and nutritionists can also help with day-to-day dietary management and help guide safe food choices. For prepared foods, ingredient transparency through ingredient disclosure and food allergen labeling can help individuals identify and avoid potential allergens.
Accommodating special dietary needs can help ensure equitable food access and support healthy eating patterns for everyone.
Manage Allergies and Alternatives (1 point)
Verified by Policy Document
For All Spaces except Commercial Kitchen Spaces
Meals, including catered meals, include at least one main course option for each of the following criteria upon request:
Containing no animal, seafood or dairy products.
Containing no animal or seafood products, except for eggs and dairy.
For Commercial Kitchen Spaces
A protocol is in place to confirm that the following requirements are met to prevent cross-contact during the preparation of meals:
Hands are washed and gloves changed between preparing different menu items.
All surfaces are cleaned (with warm water and soap) or sanitized between preparing different menu items.
Clean kitchen tools and appliances (washed with warm water and soap) are used for food preparation.
Meals are prepared on top of barriers (e.g., cutting boards, foil, parchment paper).
Implement Enhanced Ingredient Labeling (1 point)
Verified by Policy Document
For All Spaces
All foods and beverages provided by catering within the project boundary meet the following requirements:
A list of primary ingredients is clearly displayed (per meal or item) at point-of-decision on packaging, menus or signage.
Common food allergens are clearly labeled at point-of-decision on packaging, menus or signage.
© International WELL Building Institute
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