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 or flame-grilling
- Alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages offered
- Smaller portions of animal proteins, with grass-fed beef and game meats featured
- Avoids 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.