Food and drink

Essex Food

University of Essex

Special diets

Our Special Diets Focus Group is working hard to improve and expand menus and food available to customers with special dietary requirements which relate to both health concerns and religion and lifestyle choice. Comprised of students, members of staff and representatives from Essex Food, the group has initiated positive changes to the foods we offer in our restaurants, cafes and catering menus. Improved labelling systems have been introduced and we are developing a raised awareness and better understanding of the requirements amongst our staff.

For more information about our commitment to reducing the risk to customers with regard to allergens in food which could lead to an allergic reaction, read our food allergy policy (.pdf)

Suggestions and ideas

Contact our Office Administrators if you have any suggestions or ideas on this issue that you would like to share with us.

Nuts: Please note that due to the nature of our production we are unable to guarantee that our products do not contain traces of nuts.

What's available?

The tables below show what’s available in our outlets for a variety of special diets. We hope you find it useful.

Diets related to health concerns

Low-fat diet
  Blues Café Bonds Canteen Fusion Happy Days Lakeside Café No.64 Refresh Zest Delivered Catering
Semi-skimmed milk as standard in hot drinks Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Skimmed milk on request Yes Yes     Yes Yes     Yes  
Light dairy-free spread as standard in sandwiches     Yes     Yes   Yes Yes Yes
Light mayonnaise as standard in sandwiches, salads and jacket potato fillings Yes Yes   Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes Yes
Healthy option sandwiches Yes Yes       Yes   Yes Yes Yes
Sugar-free bottled drinks Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Healthy Working Lunch                   Yes
Lactose-free diet
  Blues Café Bonds Canteen Fusion Happy Days Lakeside Café No.64 Refresh Zest Delivered Catering
Soya milk available on request Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dairy-free spread as standard in sandwiches Yes       Yes Yes   Yes Yes Yes
Lactose-free cheese                   Yes
Lactose-free yoghurts     Yes              
Lactose-free chocolate bars               Yes    
Gluten-free diet
  Blues Café Bonds Canteen Fusion Happy Days Lakeside Café No.64 Refresh Zest Delivered Catering
Gluten-free sandwiches Yes Yes     Yes     Yes Yes Yes
Gluten-free rolls Yes Yes Yes   Yes   Yes     Yes
Daily hot dish Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes     Yes
Salad bar Yes                  
Mrs Crimbles gluten-free macaroons and jam rings Yes       Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes
Honeybuns gluten-free cake bars               Yes Yes  
Eat Natural Bars Yes       Yes Yes Yes Yes    
Gluten-free biscuits Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gluten-free Working Lunch                   Yes

Diets related to religion and lifestyle choices

Halal diet
  Blues Café Bonds Canteen Fusion Happy Days Lakeside Café No.64 Refresh Zest Delivered Catering
Filled sandwiches, rolls and baguettes Yes Yes       Yes   Yes Yes Yes
Paninis Yes         Yes     Yes  
Chicken wraps   Yes     Yes       Yes  
Hot lamb and chicken samosas               Yes    
Chicken and Lamb       Yes Yes         Yes
Chicken caesar salad         Yes Yes     Yes Yes
Vegetarian diet
  Blues Café Bonds Canteen Fusion Happy Days Lakeside Café No.64 Refresh Zest Delivered Catering
Breakfast sausages   Yes Yes   Yes   Yes Yes    
Veggie burgers       Yes Yes          
Vegetarian dish of the day Yes Yes Yes              
Freshly filled sandwiches, rolls and baguettes Yes Yes       Yes   Yes Yes Yes
Noodle and rice dishes and curries     Yes Yes            
Jacket potatoes Yes               Yes  
Paninis Yes Yes       Yes     Yes  
Hot filled wraps   Yes     Yes          
Hot pastries             Yes Yes Yes  
Vegan diet
  Blues Café Bonds Canteen Fusion Happy Days Lakeside Café No.64 Refresh Zest Delivered Catering
Dairy-free spread as standard in sandwiches         Yes Yes   Yes Yes Yes
Soya milk on request Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes Yes
Salads Yes Yes Yes   Yes     Yes Yes Yes
Cupcakes Yes               Yes  
Vegan Working Lunch                   Yes