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Dining Services

A Dining Services employee prepares a nutritious meal at the Grain Bowl station at Southside Cafe.

SPE Certification

In 2018, Dining Services received a three-star SPE certification for our commitment to using sustainable, nutrient-dense ingredients in our meals. SPE, derived from the Latin phrase Sanitas Per Escam, "Health Through Food", is a third-party certification program that uses science-based criteria to recognize foodservice operators' commitment to serving nutritious and sustainable food.

SPE's certification awards one, two, or three-star ratings to food service operations. Dining Services first received two-star SPE certification in 2015.

What does SPE evaluate?

Using a scientifically-grounded questionnaire, Dining Services' practices were evaluated across three key areas:

  • Sourcing and Sustainability
  • Nutrition and Menu Balance
  • Training and Transparency

What criteria did Dining Services demonstrate to receive a three-star rating?

  • Vegetables, whole grains, and legumes in most dishes, with multiple dishes meeting SPE’s criteria for a balanced plate at breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Minimal deep-frying and flame-grilling
  • Alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages offered
  • Smaller portions of animal proteins, with grass-fed beef and game meats featured
  • Minimizes highly processed products with artificial colors, flavors, or other ingredients of concern
  • Varied and sustainably sourced seafood
  • Increased amount of sustainably raised meats and poultry
  • Offering moderate portions of animal protein, and implementing Less Meat Mondays

In addition, Dining Services continued to meet two-star SPE certification criteria, including:

  • Seasonal menu changes
  • Local and regional sourcing
  • Frequently features antibiotic-free meat and poultry
  • Hormone-free milk and sustainable eggs
  • Primarily uses unsaturated oils for cooking
  • Allergen labeling and allergen-free offerings
  • Identification of healthy options
  • Some sauces and dressings made in-house
  • Using local lentils and garbanzo beans in our bakery items

Look for our SPE certified menu items, marked with the three-star logo, in each of our dining centers.

Click here to learn more about the SPE Certification Program.


Health Through Food SPE Certified Logo