University of Montana Dining has removed printed nutritional labels from items in the Food Zoo because students reading the labels take longer in line, according to Campbell Howard, director of UM Dining. This leaves students with reduced access to nutritional information.

Howard said in an email that nutritional labels were removed because students “caused delays in the serving line” while they evaluated the posted nutrition information.

Howard also said that some items that UM Dining considers “nutritionally sound” are passed up by students because they contain ingredients or nutrients that “have a negative connotation,” like chicken strips.

UM Dining strives “to promote a diet of variety and moderation,” Howard said.

Howard said nutritional information provided on UM Dining’s website is more accurate than the printed tags. It was difficult to reprint tags when food formulas were changed, he said.

“Nutritional information for every menu item we serve is available online,” Howard said.

The Montana Kaimin could not find nutritional information for many items served in the Food Zoo, including hot dogs, salad dressings, fruit, yogurt, tater tots, french fries, onion rings, bagel and toast spreads, lunch meat, sandwich rolls, egg salad, bacon, salad toppings, cottage cheese, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, sliced cheese, sandwich toppings and desserts.

Online information about selected foods includes ingredients, preferences, major allergens, portion size, calories, fat, carbohydrates and protein.

UM dining recognizes the top eight major food allergens, including wheat, egg, fish, milk, soy, tree, shell fish, peanuts and gluten. Menu items are also labeled for dietary preferences including vegan, vegetarian, gluten, gluten friendly, halal and haram.

“Our custom, web-based nutrition labeling system provides you with detailed information on all menu items,” the Campus Dining Guide says. “UM Dining accommodates all medical dietary restrictions.”

Students concerned with food choices offered at UM can consult with a registered dietician on campus by calling (406) 243-6325.