Network Working Group                                          M. Barnes
Internet-Draft                                                   Polycom
Intended status: Informational                             July 16, 2013
Expires: January 17, 2014

    Healthy Food and Special Dietary Requirements for IETF meetings


   This document describes the basic requirements for food for folks
   that attend IETF meetings require special diets, as well as those
   that prefer to eat healthy.  While, the variety of special diets is
   quite broad, the most general categories are described.  There can be
   controversy as to what constitutes healthy eating, but there are some
   common, generally available foods that comprise the basis for healthy
   eating and special diets.  This document provides some
   recommendations to meeting planners, as well as participants, in
   handling these requirements.

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on January 17, 2014.

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   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
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   ( in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect

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   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   3.  Conventions and Terminology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   4.  Requirements for Special Diets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   5.  Venue Selection  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   6.  Meeting Coordination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   7.  Venue and Food Service Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   8.  Participant Recommendations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   9.  Specific Food Recommendations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
   10. Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
   11. IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
   12. Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
   13. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
   Author's Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

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1.  Introduction

   While much of the success of IETF protocols can be attributed to the
   availability of large cookies and readily available beer, there are
   some IETF participants for whom such items aren't compatible with
   dietary restrictions or the choice to eat a healthy diet.  So, while
   the IETF Tao [RFC6722] describes the IETF as "a place to go for 'many
   fine lunches and dinners'", for folks with dietary restrictions,
   meals can require the most planning and be one the most stressful
   aspect of the meetings.  Certainly, the tao clearly states that folks
   are on their own for lunches and dinners, however, the meeting fee
   does cover (some of) the cost for the food provided at breakfasts and
   breaks.  The dietary restrictions are quite varied, but fall into
   general catgories based typically on medical, religious, health and
   ethical reasons.  While [RFC6640] describes some food considerations
   which are very useful for the average attendee, it intentionally does
   not address the dietary restrictions described in this document.

   Most folks are generally understanding of dietary restrictions for
   medical conditions such as diabetes, celiac disease, and folks with
   severe allergies to foods such as peanuts that cause immediate
   anaphylactic and often life threatening reactions.  In general, folks
   respect the special diets required for religious reasons and for
   folks who have chosen to follow a healthy and vegan/vegetarian diet,
   which for some folks also has a religious basis.  More subtle food
   allergies and sensitivies, as well as less common medical conditions
   (e.g., PKU) can sometimes be more difficult to handle, both in terms
   of the understanding by the general public and food service staff.
   It is also important to note that these dietary restrictions are not
   just an inconvenience, but rather they can introduce a barrier to
   full participation by a subset of the population.  The logistics
   involved in obtaining the appropriate food can interfere with
   participation in the meeting sessions, as well as informal

2.  Overview

   In general, most folks on restricted diets are very resourceful in
   terms of researching the meeting venue and determining availability
   of "safe foods".  Folks with these food restrictions typically are
   proficient at managing these situations provided they have access to
   information or are able to talk directly with food service staff, in
   particular the head chef.  However, in some cases, this can be more
   difficult in terms of access to the "safe food" when folks are in
   foreign countries where their native language (or a language in which
   they are very fluent) is not widely understood or when the meeting
   venue is in a more remote geograhic location.  Indeed, many of the

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   folks with dietary restrictions arrive at the meetings early enough
   to scout out locations for finding "safe food".  However, at times,
   the hotels modify their typical food service offerings, such as
   ordering from menus to just providing a more restricted subset of
   food choices, to optimize the handling of the large crowds and
   limited time during the lunch period.  Typically, the extra food
   service areas (carts, etc.) that some meeting venues use to handle
   the lunch crowds do not offer any food appropriate for several of the
   dietary restrictions.  Meeting venues that are not co-located with
   the meeting hotel, in particular those that are not located in the
   city center, typically introduce the most problems in terms of
   availability of safe food.  The cafes that may be located at the
   venue typically do not have any safe foods available and often the
   availability of food for participants in the general area of the
   venue (i.e., close enough so folks can get back to the venue for
   afternoon meetings) is very limited at these locations.

   Many folks with dietary restrictions compensate for the lack of
   readily available safe food by bringing food from home to the
   meeting.  In the case where the meeting is in the home country, there
   is likely no issue with this practice.  However, many meetings
   require a large number of IETF participants to travel to foreign
   countries, many of whom prohibit the participants from bringing
   outside food.  Since the food from home often provides a large part
   of the sustenance for participants with restricted diets, this can
   introduce a large problem - either the participant goes without or
   they violate the laws of a particular country and don't declare the
   food to avoid confiscation.  While folks with restrictions due to
   medical conditions can bring a doctor's letter, there is still a risk
   of the food being confiscated, since it is highly unlikely that the
   folks handling the situation are able to make a decision outside the
   rules with or without the letter.  Certainly, participants have a
   choice, although difficult in cases where the meetings are required
   for their jobs, as to whether or not they attend a meetings.  IETF is
   an open and inclusive organization, thus facilitating accessiblity to
   safe foods should be a human factors consideration for the meetings.
   In addition, laws in some countries (e.g., American Disabilities Act
   in the U.S.) classify some medical conditions as invisible
   disabilities (e.g., celiac disease, food allergies, hearing issues)
   and thus require that accommodations be made for dietary restrictions
   for medical reasons, in the same way as accommodations are made for
   other disabilities.  The American Disabilities Act applies to non-
   profit agencies that serve the public.

   The objective of this document is to summarize some common
   requirements for all special diets.  The focus of this document is to
   provide information for individuals/organization that choose venues
   (Section 5), meeting organizers (Section 6), participants (Section 8)

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   and the meeting venue staff (Section 7) to meet some basic
   requirements for these dietary restrictions.  It is recommended that
   these recommendations be more formally adopted by the first two
   groups (i.e., those that choose venues and those that organize and
   run the logistics for the meeting) into their procedures.

   This document is not intended to provide comprehensive information
   about any of these dietary restrictions, but rather the restrictions
   are described in a very general sense, with a few examples, to
   provide the context for the recommendations in this document.  The
   references include cookbooks that are representative of the special
   diets discussed in this document.  Most of these cookbooks provide a
   basic overview of particular dietary restriction, lists of safe
   ingredients, etc.  There are a plethora of websites with tons of more
   information on this topic and specific dietary restrictions.

   In addition, this document discusses the importance of providing
   remote attendance for folks whose conditions limit their ability to
   travel.  It is hoped that by increasing the availability of foods for
   folks with these restrictions could increase the ability for some
   folks to attend the face to face meetings.

   While discussion of this document was originally targeted for the mailing list, it has become increasingly
   clear that this is something that the community as a whole needs to
   understand, thus the author is prepared to open the floodgates again,
   in particular due to the decision to hold yet another meeting in a
   remote location (IETF-86) in Orlando, without consideration of these

3.  Conventions and Terminology

   This document uses the following terms:

   Celiac disease:  A medical condition which requires a diet entirely
      free of wheat, rye, barley and most oats.  The reaction, as in
      food allergies, is to the protein in these grains, which is
      gliaden or most often referred to as gluten.  Of particular
      concern for this dietary restriction is that even the smallest
      amount of the offending food can trigger the manifestion of the
      illness.  This website provides an excellent overview:
   Food additives:  Anything added to food which is typically not
      natural in origin, such as artificial flavors, artificial colors/
      dyes, nitrates/nitrites, sufites/sulfates, mono-sodium glutamate
      (MSG).  This list is not comprehensive and some of these additives
      (i.e., the latter three) are naturally occurring in foods,

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      however, the levels/volume of the substance is a fraction of what
      is typically added to foods.
   Food allergies:  Typically refers to a food to which one has a fairly
      immediate and sometimes anaphylactic reaction.  These allergies
      are typically recognized in that folks produced IgE antibodies to
      a specific food.  There are also foods in which the reaction is
      delayed and one typically produces IgG antibodies.  There are also
      acute mucousal reactions such as to gluten, in which case IgA
      antibodies are produced.  It is not uncommon for folks with food
      allergies to also have food intolerances.
   Food intolerances:  Food intolerances can be less severe than food
      allergies in that the reaction is often delayed and isn't
      typically life threatening.  The reactions cover a very broad
      range of symptoms such as gastrointestinal reactions (e.g., from
      dairy or gluten), oral reactions (swelling, mouth ulcers, etc.)
      flu-like symptoms such as overall muscle aches, headaches,
      fatigue, sinus congestion, etc.  In a small subset of folks, there
      can be fairly severe neurological impacts producing ADD/ADHD
      symptoms, severe anger, seizures, etc.
   Halal:  Halal is commonly used to refer to food that is permissible
      according to Islamic law and is special diet followed by most
      Muslims.  One of the areas of most concern for this diet is the
      source and processing of meat.  In one sense, the Halal
      requirements are extremely close to Kashrut standards followed by
      those who consume a Kosher Diet.  As with a Kosher diet, pork is
      never acceptable.
   Healthy:  In the most general sense, healthy refers to a diet that is
      typically void of processed foods, highly processed sweeteners,
      food additives, food preservatives, hydrogenated oils, etc.  In
      some cases folks such as those on Vegetarian and Vegan diets would
      add animal fats to this list.  And, obviously, foods with wheat
      are not considered healthy for celiacs, even foods with natural
      sweeteners are often unhealthy and of course, any food to which
      one is allergic is not healthy.  So, in this document, the terms
      is used to refer to a diet based on vegetables and some fruits,
      along with appropriate proteins, grains, and healthy fats, all of
      which are suitable for a variety of special diets.
   Kosher:  A Kosher diet is based on specific rules for food source,
      preparation and handling that are typically followed by many Jews.
      The strictest rules are around the source and preparation of
      meats.  In particular meat and dairy must not be mixed and in most
      cases utensils that have been used to prepare non-Kosher foods
      cannot be used.  Pork is considered non-kosher.
   Phenylketonuria (PKU):  A medical condition requiring a low protein
      diet and avoidance of any food containing phenylalanine (e.g.,
      aspartame).  The diet for PKU is often comprised of large amounts
      of fruits and vegetables in specific portions since the daily
      intake of protein must be monitored.  Grains can be consumed in

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      moderation.  The manner in which the food is prepared must be
      known as ingredients used in cooking and added prior to serving
      (e.g., butter) need to be identified as they can contribute to the
      total amount of protein.
   Special Diet:  Special Diet: Refers to any diet for which the source,
      method of preparation, handling and serving of the food must all
      be known.  In this document, this term is used to refer to any of
      the dietary restrictions discussed.
   Vegan:  A Vegan diet entirely excludes the use of animals for food
      (including animal by-products such as cow's milk, butter, eggs,
      honey, etc.).  Many folks adopt a completely vegan lifestyle and
      eschew the use of animals or animal by-products for any purpose
      (e.g., no leather shoes).  In terms of dietary restrictions, one
      can view a vegan diet to be a subset of a vegetarian diet.
   Vegetarian:  A vegetarian diet is one which excludes the consumption
      of meat products, usually including fish.  Some vegetarian diets
      also exclude animal by-products such as egg and dairy.
      Vegetarians that do consume egg and dairy products are sometimes
      referred to as lactoOvo-vegetarians and those that consume dairy
      products, but no eggs, are referred to as lacto-vegetarians.

4.  Requirements for Special Diets

   While there is no strict definition as to what qualifies as a
   "healthy" diet, there are a variety of diets that individuals choose
   based upon a desire to maintain good health and prevent disease as
   well as to treat specific diseases.

   Allergies are a key reason that some folks must follow a specific
   diet.  In terms of the number of folks that require special diets, it
   is estimated that anywhere from 3% to 7% of the population has food
   allergies.  The top eight allergens are: milk (cow), eggs, peanuts,
   tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts), fish (such as bass,
   cod, flounder), shellfish (such as crab, lobster, shrimp), soy and
   wheat.  It should be noted that the allergic reactions are to the
   protein found in the food.  For example, an allergy to milk is most
   often due to casein, which is the most common protein found in cow's
   milk.  Thus, any other food product that also contains casein (e.g.,
   butter and cheese) can also cause an allergic reaction.  While
   intolerances to specific foods may not elicit a true allergic
   reaction, individuals with food intolerances typcially must also
   avoid the offending food.  For example, some individuals are lactose
   intolerant and thus they also cannot consume cow's milk as described
   on the following website:

   It's estimated that about 5 percent of the U.S. population is

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   vegetarian and about 0.2 percent of the U.S. Population being vegan.
   Twenty-five percent of the population has the genetic predisposition
   to develop celiac disease.  It is estimated that as little as 0.3
   percent of the individuals with celiac disease have been diagnosed.
   Both the U.S. and Europe are actively working to educate the medical
   community on the high prevalence of undiagnosed celiac.  In some
   countries, the rate of diagnosis has doubled in recent years.  This
   trend is expected to continue, thus as time goes by the need for food
   accommodating this diet will increase.  As of 2009, about 15% of the
   U.S. Population were following a gluten-free diet.  Western Europeans
   and those of European descent experience the highest incidence of
   Celiac disease.  Although, it is not specific to those ethnic groups
   and has been found in all populations around the world.

   Dietary restrictions for religious reasons include those who follow
   Halal, Kosher and some folks that follow Vegan/Vegetarian diets.
   Halal is commonly used to refer to food that is permissible according
   to Islamic law and is special diet followed by most Muslims.  One of
   the areas of most concern for this diet is the source and processing
   of meat.  In one sense, the Halal requirements are extremely close to
   Kashrut standards followed by those who consume a Kosher Diet.  As
   with a Kosher diet, pork is never acceptable for a Halal diet.  Fish
   with scales are considered both Halal and Kosher.  Shell fish are
   controversial and are a common allergen, thus recommended to be
   avoided as part of planning for foods to accommodate a broad range of
   dietary restrictions.

   Dietary restrictions due to medical conditions impose very stringent
   requirements on the food, in particular for allergies and food
   intolerances.  Celiac disease is a good example of a medical
   condition that requires extreme care in the preparation and handling
   of the food.  In many cases, this requires that the food is not
   processed or prepared anywhere near those grains.  For example, it
   would not be appropriate to use the utensils, bowls or pots/pans that
   have been used to prepare foods containing those grains without
   thoroughly cleaning and only metal or glass should be used since
   trace amounts of the grains can attach to plastics and wood.  For
   example, this means that neither plastic nor wood cutting boards that
   have been used for these grains can be used.  Nor, can the foods be
   prepared in the same area or even near an area where the grains are
   being used for food preparation.  In general, this requires
   designating ahead of time a specific area to be used for the
   preparation of these foods and ensuring that the food preparer and
   anyone that handles or serves the food uses appropriate methods to
   avoid cross contamination.  In terms of serving the food, providing
   plastic utensils and dishes, while not environmentally friendly,
   helps to avoid one potential area of cross contamination for most of
   the diets.

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   In general, the same rules that are required for handling food for
   medically restricted diets applies to all other special diets in
   terms of avoiding cross contamination.  Meat products require special
   consideration in ensuring that food suitable for vegetarians/vegans
   is not contaminated, that appropriate meat products are provided for
   folks on Kosher/Halal diets and that the meat products are
   unprocessed and thus suitable for most allergy/intolerance special
   diets, with the obvious exception that folks that are allergic to
   fish can't eat fish, etc..

   There are laws in many countries and jurisdictions (e.g.,U.S., E.U.)
   that make it illegal to mislabel foods that are Halal or Kosher.  At
   this time, food manufacturers in many jusisdictions (e.g.,U.S., U.K,
   E.U.) must include all ingredients on the labels of any packaged food
   product.  The following are examples of the requirements for such:
   &lt:>, <
   <>.  Many
   products also contain designations as to whether the product is
   vegetarian or vegan, however, the standards for these labels are not
   as clearly specified or restricted.  Manufacturers are required to
   specifically label the food if it contains any of the top 8

   In terms of detailed information available to food service
   establishments in order to accommodate these special diets, the
   (U.S.) National Restaurant Association [NRA] has produced a
   comprehensive guide for food service establishments to ensure that
   they appropriately handle food specifically for allergies and
   intolerance, but could be used to avoid cross contamination and
   ensure that only "safe" foods are served.

   The fundamental requirements for the provision of food to accommodate
   special diets consists of the following:

   1.  The meetings should be held in a location where markets that sell
       foods for special diets are conveniently located.
   2.  The right food should be accessible to the participants at the
       meeting venue.
   3.  Food that is served at the venue should be prepared and served by
       appropriate methods as described above.
   4.  The meeting coordination and venue staff should be made aware of
       participants requiring such food and should be willing to
       accommodate such requirements.

   The subsequent sections of this document describe the
   responsibilities of the following organizations/individuals in
   meeting these requirements:

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   o  The IETF individuals involved in selection and negotiation of the
      meeting venue as described in Section 5.  In general, this is the
      responsibility of the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee
      (IAOC), but applies to anyone involved in this role.
   o  The IETF organization and individuals that handle the coordination
      of the meetings such as the meeting registrations and other
      logistics, as well, coordination for the provisions at the meeting
      venue, as described in Section 6.  In general, these are the
      responsibilities of the IETF secretariat, but apply to anyone
      responsibile for this role.
   o  The venue staff that are responsible for providing services during
      the meeting as described in Section 7.
   o  The attendees with specific dietary restrictions and requirements
      as described in Section 8.

5.  Venue Selection

   Accommodating the requirements for special diets starts with the
   selection of the venue.  The following describes some criteria and
   suggestions that can significantly impact the availability of foods
   for special diets relative to the venue.  It is recommended that
   these critera and suggestions be considered as part of the evaluation
   and negotiation process in the selection of a venue.  Other than the
   last criteria, if a venue cannot satisfy these criteria, then the
   venue should be deemed unsuitable for an IETF meeting.

   1.  Accessiblity to "healthy" food: Meetings that are located in the
       city center of large metropolitan areas significantly increase
       the accessibility to foods for special diets.  Food markets are
       generally within walking distance and the number of restaurant
       options improve the potential for a healthy meal.  In addition,
       the opening hours for food markets don't entirely overlap with
       meeting times, thus allowing the attendee to find healthy/safe
       food without having to miss a meeting (which is the primary
       objective in attending the meetings for most attendees).
   2.  Onsite accommodations: While the location of the meeting
       dramatically impacts the availability of food near the meeting
       venue, the logistics of the meetings do require the accessibility
       to healthy/safe food during the meetings.  The folks that
       negotiate the contract should ensure that the venue is willing
       and able to make accommodations for basic requirements in
       Section 4.  Section 7 outlines specific requirements for the
       venue and food service staff that provides useful input into this
       requirement.  Information as to the number of attendees for whom
       the accommodations are required can be based on the information
       available from previous meetings, with updated information
       provided once the majority of the registrations for the meeting

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       have been completed.  In addition, folks that negotiate the
       contract should ensure that attendees are allowed to bring in
       outside food and beverage.  This is a necessity in the case that
       the venue fails to provide adequate food onsite.  More
       importantly, it is a medical necessity for some folks to always
       have specific types of food and drink readily available (e.g.,
       for diabetics or others with blood sugar issues).
   3.  Repeat venues: Meetings that are located where previous meetings
       have been held can greatly faciliate (or dramatically inhibit)
       the accessiblity to safe/healthy foods.  The attendees from
       previous meeting (s) already have the information on
       accessibility to the healthy/safe foods which should influence
       venue selection.  If the post-meeting surveys include questions
       as to the availability of foods for these specific diets at the
       venue, the folks that select the venue know a priori whether the
       venue is suitable in this respect.  For cases of first time
       attendees for a specific location, relevant information can be
       gathered from attendees that have previously visited the city.

6.  Meeting Coordination

   IETF meeting coordination staff are typically pro-active in meeting
   the needs of folks with special dietary restrictions when they've
   been made aware.  The meeting registration form includes a field for
   participants to indicate dietary restrictions.  Accommodations
   including the following have been provided:

   o  At one venue that served many cookies with nuts, the meeting staff
      was able to ask the food service staff at the meeting venue to
      have some nut free cookies available and labeled as such.
   o  The staff are very accommodating in ensuring special meals are
      provided to participants that attend meetings where meals are
      provided in cases where they have been made aware (e.g., WG chairs
   o  The availability of safe/healthy foods at the breaks has
      increased.  For example, frozen fruit bars have been available at
      the traditional Thursday ice cream social and veggies have been
      available at some of the afternoon breaks.

   The following summarizes the recommendations for special diets that
   meeting planners should be able to accommodate with some pre-
   planning, and as noted above have already been pro-active in

   1.  Ensuring that specific foods for special diets is available at
       the IETF meeting hotel restaurants, along with information on the
       accessiblity to such in nearby markets/restaurants.  These

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       accommodations should be available starting on the Friday nite
       prior to the meeting week, since some folks arrive early for pre-
       meetings and the tools session.
   2.  Determining special dietary needs of participants during
       registration and communicating any additional requirements to the
       venue staff and to the meeting hosts that are sponsoring the
       Sunday evening reception and social event who may be directly
       planning and coordinating the food for those events.
   3.  Providing information about the provisions for special diets in
       the participants IETF registration packet and on the IETF meeting
       attendee mailing list.
   4.  During the meeting, responding to the concerns raised by
       participants in terms of the problems encountered.  In general,
       this requires serving as a facilitator between the participant
       and the venue staff.  It should be noted, that in general this
       situation intervention should only be required in cases where the
       participant has done their part with regards to the necessary
       accommodations for their special diet per Section 8.

7.  Venue and Food Service Recommendations

   Since IETF meetings are typically held at full service venues,
   accommodating special diets is a service that can typically be
   provided, in particular with advance notice that allows the venue to
   properly plan.  Planning is required to ensure that the basic
   requirements identified in Section 4 can be satisfied.

   The following summarizes the recommendations for special diets that
   the venue and food service staff should be able to accommodate with
   some pre-planning and meet all the requirements.

   1.  Agreement with meeting planners during the contract negotiation
       phase that they can at least meet the basic requirements in
       Section 4.
   2.  Providing information about the provisions for special diets on
       check-in and readily available at all food service locations
       within the venue.
   3.  Ensuring that specific foods for special diets is purchased in
       time to meet the dietary requirements starting on the Friday
       night prior to the meeting week, since some folks arrive early
       for pre-meetings and tools session.
   4.  Training chefs if necessary to ensure food for special diets is
       properly prepared.  Noting, that the majority of chefs receive
       training to accommodate special diets.  There is a food service
       training guide published by the National Restaurant Association
       (the other NRA) [NRA] that provides explicit details for
       restaurants in accommodating food allergies that applies

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       generally to other dietary restrictions.
   5.  Training waitstaff on the need to clearly document the special
       dietary requirements when food is ordered.
   6.  Training waitstaff to effectively communicate with the food
       preparers and servers (which are not always the waitstaff in some
       food service locations) to ensure that the preparation, handling
       and serving of the food for the specific dietary restriction is
   7.  During the meeting, ensuring food that is available at evening
       reception, breakfast and snacks is arranged to avoid cross-
       contamination.  Items of particular concern are ensuring that
       products with nuts are clearly labeled and not co-mingled with
       nut-free products, meat products are separate from dairy
       products, wheat products (e.g., bread, bagels, muffins, etc.) are
       separated from safe food items such as fruit and ideally a list
       of ingredients is readily available for any prepared foods.
   8.  Allowing outside food and beverage.  While all the items listed
       above dramatically increase the accessibility to safe food, there
       will still be times that an attendee cannot ascertain whether
       certain foods are safe and thus cannot be consumed.  In addition,
       certain medical conditions require that attendees always have
       specific types of food and beverages on hand (e.g., diabetics and
       others with blood sugar issues).

   While this list might seem quite onerous, a similar approach is used
   by a variety of organizations including public schools, overnight
   summer camps for kids, airlines that still provide meals for
   international flights and a broad range of other conferences from
   small to large.

8.  Participant Recommendations

   The following summarizes the recommendations for special diets for
   which the participant is responsible.  These recommendations allow
   the individual to pro-actively ensure that adequate food is readily
   available during the meeting, for lunch in particular:

   1.  Ensuring that the accommodations booked for the meeting can
       accommodate any food or medication which requires special
       handling such as refrigeration (e.g., insulin for diabetics and
       any other supplements, medications or foods which are important
       for other special diets).  Many hotels will provide a
       refrigerator in the room.  Some hotels have microwaves in the
       rooms or in common areas.  In many cases, it can be a really good
       idea to stay at a hotel near the venue, where food preparation
       items and refrigerators are standard.  Many of the major chains
       have residence style hotels and one can often find corporate

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       apartments for rent in major cities.  For example, there was a
       residence type hotel right next to the meeting venue in
       Philadelphia.  The room rate was identical.  There were also two
       Whole Foods markets within walking distance.  Thus, for folks on
       special diets, we really had an optimal setup.  Often, the
       residence/suite style hotels will also do shopping for you (with
       a list provided in the room).
   2.  Bringing special dietary items (including medications, etc.) that
       are typically not generally available, especially in airports or
       when arriving off hours in an unfamilar location, in carry on
       luggage.  It is often very, very helpful (and sometimes
       necessary) to have a letter from your healthcare provider
       documenting the need to travel with these items.  Also, this will
       typically allow you to go through security with a freezie pack in
       a lunch cooler.
   3.  Indicating the dietary restriction when registering for the IETF
   4.  Monitoring the IETF "food" mailing list for information as to
       availability of specific special diet foods, including food
       markets, nearby food service establishments, as well as at the
   5.  Gathering the available special diet information upon arriving at
       the venue.
   6.  Sharing information on the IETF "food" or IETF meeting specific
       mailing list as to local food service establishments and markets
       near the venue during the meeting.
   7.  Communicating effectively with the food service personnel your
       specific dietary needs.  While the expectation is that the venue
       and meeting planners have done their job, ensuring that one gets
       the right food requires effective communication every step of the
       way.  Thus, the same approach that one uses elsewhere should also
       be used at the meetings.  One can never assume that everything
       has been taken care of by someone else.  And, as with anything
       that involves many people doing the right thing, there is always
       room for human error.  A very effective tool for communicating
       this information are food allergy cards available on several
       websites, some of which allow you to enter all your restrictions
       and print them yourself.  Others are pre-printed and purchased
       from the vendor.  These cards can be given to the food service
       staff.  This is very helpful for staff that are unfamiliar with
       handling special dietary requests, as oftentimes these cards
       trigger a visit from the chef.  In virtually all cases a
       discussion with the chef on your dietary requirements results in
       the precise food that you have require.
   8.  Thanking the folks that do take the effort during the meeting to
       accommodate your special dietary needs and ensuring that the food
       service staff are adequately tipped in locales for which this is
       a custom.

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9.  Specific Food Recommendations

   While specific foods for the special diets can be quite diverse and
   sometimes contradictory (e.g., meat for vegans/vegetarians, seitan
   for celiacs, etc.), there are also sufficient readily available foods
   that can meet the requirements of the majority of the special diets.
   There are a plethora of recipes in cookbooks and on websites that
   address all these various diets, including many that combine the
   diets, such as [kosher-veg] and [cornucopia].  Stores such as Whole
   Foods, with locations in virtually all major U.S. cities, as well as
   in the U.K., typically handle this in an exceptional manner, as well,
   as they often have a salad bar section that consists of very plain
   and clearly labeled foods.  Most Whole Foods stores also have lists
   of specific foods in the store that are safe for a variety of special
   diets.  Many airlines that provide special meals typically use the
   same basic meal to accommodate all special diets, in many cases just
   substituting an alternative protein such as the ubiquitous portobello
   mushroom for the meat to accommodate a vegetarian/vegan diet.  Also,
   many restaurants do have a subset of their menu that can typically
   accommodate special diets and in many cases the menus either label
   the items as such or include a note indicating that dishes can be
   prepared to accommodate dietary restrictions.

   The following summarizes some basic foods that can accommodate the
   majority of special diets that the venue coordinator and food service
   staff should be able to accommodate with little pre-planning since
   they are the foods that provide the basis for most healthy diets.  In
   addition, almost all of these items require very little preparation,
   thus the potential for cross-contamination is fairly low by observing
   the basics of a clean prep area and clean utensils, etc.  Also, many
   of these items can be delivered by the food service distributors
   ready for serving (e.g., salads and even some meats).  Virtually all
   the foods can be served cold, as most folks find a cold meal
   acceptable for breakfast and lunch since dinners at IETF meetings
   tend to be larger, hot meals:

   o  A variety of fresh fruits available at breakfast, lunch and for
      breaks, when cookies, etc. are served.  The fruit must be kept
      separate from the cookies, etc. to avoid cross-contamination.
   o  A variety of fresh vegetables, either served raw or steamed and
      served plain, available at lunch either on a buffet or on the
   o  At least two greens (without preservatives) for a salad base
      available at lunch and dinner - e.g., Romaine and spinach - served
      separately as some folks cannot tolerate the oxalates in fresh

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   o  Lean proteins such as beans, steamed fish and steamed, grilled or
      deli meats such as chicken or beef, with at least one kosher
      option and ensuring that the meats are unseasoned and without
      fillers.  Note, that the meats can be served cold, thus prepared
      the night before and actually this may be very economical for the
      food service establishment where fresh foods are typically more
      desireable - e.g., fish spoils most quickly, thus cooking what's
      left from the dinner the night before is economical and efficient.
      For some folks, these foods are eaten for both breakfast and
   o  Also, to accommodate folks that can handle various spices and
      seasonings with their food, a range of condiments such as the
      basic salt and pepper, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and Tabasco
      sauce, as well as minimal salad dressings such as vinegar and oil.
      These items are readily available at virtually any food service
   o  Within the food preparation environment for these foods and in the
      case of buffets, avoiding dairy altogether is recommended as it is
      a common allergen, not eaten by vegans, has special rules for a
      Kosher/Halal diet, 50 percent of celiacs cannot tolerate dairy and
      the most health conscious of people typically recognize that cow's
      milk, pastuerized in particular, is not a particularly healthy

   The following food options would be nice to have available, but may
   require some pre-planning depending upon the venue, but in general
   can be purchased/prepared ahead of time, thus should not be
   particularly difficult to support:

   o  Alternative grains such as Quinoa - can be served as a hot
      breakfast cereal or served as a side dish as an alternative to
      rice or cracked wheat salad (Tabbouleh) - the latter could be made
      using leftovers from breakfast.  In the case of breakfast, side
      options such as maple syrup and dried fruits like raisins can be
      used to sweeten (in the same manner as these items are served with
   o  Rice crackers as an alternative to wheat based grain products.
   o  Hummus as a protein alternative for breakfast and lunch.  Hummus
      keeps quite well, thus the food service staff would only need to
      prepare a large enough batch to last the week.
   o  Sprouted beans as a salad/protein alternative for breakfast and
   o  Soups that would accommodate all diets such as non-dairy Squash or
      vegan lentil soup.  As with the meats, this soup could be made
      with leftovers served from the previous evening.
   o  Nuts and seeds (e.g., pumpkin, sunflower, etc.), including nut
      butters, as alternative protein sources for folks.  These are
      suitable for all meals and snacks.

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   o  Snack bars as an alternative to the cookie option at breaks.
      There is a wide range of healthy snack bars available, with many
      being either free of all allergens, vegan and kosher or at least
      accommodating 2 of the 3 main restrictions.  For example, bars
      with honey are not vegan, but may be suitable for all the other
      special diets.  Many of the manufacturers of these snack bars will
      provide a certain number to non-profit organizations for their
      events for marketing and as a public service.

10.  Security Considerations

   This document neither defines nor extends any Internet protocol, thus
   there are no particular security considerations.  One could consider
   the information as to which participant requires a special diet to
   require some level of privacy, but in general, this isn't considered
   particularly private for most folks.  As noted in Section 8, one can
   never assume that the food offerings are safe and the individual
   should always confirm such.

11.  IANA Considerations

   This document requires no IANA registrations.

12.  Acknowledgements

   The authors appreciate the feedback from the individuals who
   considered the discussion on the IETF-72 attendee list to be
   constructive and provided good input.  In addition, we also
   appreciate the feedback from folks that considered this topic to be
   only of concern for a small subset of participants and an onerous
   task and expectation for consideration by both meeting planners and
   the meeting venue.  Feedback from these folks provided the motivation
   for this document.

   The author appreciates the support from Dan Wing in setting up the
   ietf-food mailing list.  The list has been very helpful in
   identifying restaurants, markets, etc. and allowing folks with
   similar food interests to meet and dine together at recent meetings.

   The author appreciates the comments and feedback from Dan Romascanu,
   Teemu Huovila, Ran Atkinson, Fred Baker, SM, Joel Jaegli, John
   Klensin and Melinda Shore.  This document was provided to Ole
   Jacobsson (as an IAOC member) as input to the meeting hosts (Kaori
   Maeda and Akira Kato) for planning purposes for IETF-76 in Hiroshima.

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13.  Informative References

   [RFC6722]  Hoffman, P., "Publishing the "Tao of the IETF" as a Web
              Page", RFC 6722, August 2012.

   [RFC6640]  George, W., "IETF Meeting Attendees' Frequently Asked
              (Travel) Questions", RFC 6640, June 2012.

   [NRA]      Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, "Welcoming Guests
              with Food Allergies", 2008.

              Marks, G., "Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of
              Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the
              World", November 2004.

              Heffernan, E., "Cornucopia at Home", October 2008.

              Hagman, B., "The Gluten-free Gourmet Cooks Fast and
              Healthy", June 2000.

Author's Address

   Mary Barnes


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