Allergic Reaction – New Legislation

Friday, February 27, 2015

All schools are likely to have at least one pupil or employee who is severely food-allergic, and many schools will have more. Peanut allergy is particularly common, with one in 70 children nationwide thought to be affected.

New legislation (the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation 1169/2011) requires food businesses –including Schools- to provide allergy information on food sold unpackaged e.g. at deli counters, bakeries and sandwich bars.

There is now a mandatory requirement for all staff involved in all stages of food production, retail and preparation to understand the implications of the law and to receive training. Everyone must know the 14 named allergens and the food and products likely to contain them. Allergens must be declared on all menus.

Some extra tips to ensure the safety of an allergic pupil:

  • Ensure that catering supervisors are aware of an allergic pupil's requirements. Review health records submitted by parents
  • Include food-allergic children in school activities. Pupils should not be excluded based on their allergy
  • Ensure the staff members have received high-quality training in managing severe allergies in schools, including how to use an adrenaline auto injector
  • Identify a core team to work with parents to establish prevention and treatment strategies. Arrange staff training. (Your school nurse should be able to help you to arrange this)
  • Ensure all staff can recognise symptoms; know what to do in an emergency, and work to eliminate the use of allergens in the allergic pupil’s meals, educational tools, arts and crafts projects
  • Ensure that medications are appropriately stored, and easily accessible in a secure location (but not locked away) central to designated staff members
  • Review school policies after a reaction has occurred
  • Tables should be cleaned thoroughly before and after eating during break and lunch periods. Remind children to wash their hands
  • Educate the school pupils about food allergy, maybe in the form of an awareness day, class awareness and activities.

"A fresh approach to school improvement which celebrates success and provides practical improvement steps for any school, at any stage of its journey. I have experienced outstanding professional development in three schools from the Judicium School Improvement team. Recent Ofsted judgements reflect this positive support.” Yvonne Brown, Headteacher, Tyldesley and Head of Teaching Schools North West

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