Dining Services

SPE Certified logo

SPE Certification

In 2015, we obtained a two-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. In 2018, we improved our rating to a three-star certification. 

Nutrition Criteria

• Promote nutrient density through the use of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes
• Encourage the use of healthier unsaturated fats while limiting the use of saturated fats
• Limit processed ingredients which are higher in sodium, added sugars and artificial additives
• Promote preparation techniques that preserve the integrity of the ingredients

Environmental Criteria

• Encourage the use of a variety of more sustainably grown seasonal fruits and vegetables.
• Encourage a diversity of plant and animal foods on a menu
• Favor production practices that minimize environmental impact and protect habitat and biodiversity

What does SPE evaluate?

Dining Services completed a series of questionnaires to provide information on the following:
• Sourcing and Sustainability: assessment of operation's purchasing practices and priorities with respect to third-party ingredients, plant-based products and animal proteins
• Nutrition and Menu Balance: collection of ingredient and preparation practices and overall menu balance including a section of dishes that meet SPE criteria for a balanced plate
• Training and Transparency: evaluation of an operation's commitment to training staff and communicating nutrition-related information to students and staff

SPE's certification awards one, two or three stars to food service operations based on responses to SPE's scientifically grounded questionnaire.

We submitted 175 items for review by SPE. Of the 175 submitted, 156 are designated as SPE certified due to the careful sourcing, preparation and ingredient combinations.

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

• Seasonal menu changes
• Local and regional sourcing
• Increasing antibiotic-free meat and poultry
• Year round offerings of legumes, vegetables, whole grains, and fruit
• Daily vegan and vegetarian options
• Fair-trade coffee
• Hormone-free dairy
• Cage-free eggs
• Onsite garden and composting
• Local flours and cakes made with beans and lentils
• Cooking with vegetable oil

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

To learn more about the SPE Certification Program, visit http://www.specertified.com