New Procedures Focus on Food Allergy Awareness

Posted by Christi Whiteside on 1/11/2019 2:00:00 PM

ECS Families,

We are always looking for ways to improve our student safety.  In December, we were made aware of a weakness in our food allergy safety.  In the rush of MANY students coming into the office for “emergency” food, a student with a food allergy accidentally took an item containing her allergen.  Fortunately, her reaction was not life threatening, but she was quite ill for a period of time. We’ve looked at our protocols and will be making two changes beginning immediately.  

  1. Only students who need lunch food will be provided food from the office.  Previously, we’ve also allowed students who want a snack to come to the office.  Decreasing to providing lunch food only will significantly decrease the number of students and make it even easier for us to supervise who is taking what food.
  2. Moving forward, we will only be offering 4 items which are all nut, dairy, and egg free: applesauce, fruit cups, individual bags of UTZ pretzels (this brand only), Nutri Grain Cereal Bars (this brand only).  While we know these are not the only allergies in our building, they represent the vast majority of our allergic students and make it easier to address specific allergy needs.  

As we transition through this change, we have separated these “clean” foods from the previously donated items.  We will offer those other items to students who do not have known allergies until they run out.

While this system does not address every scenario, it will help us improve our system.  

As you consider whether these changes will impact your family, please have a conversation with your child to determine how often he/she has needed food from the office.  Sometimes we find that students have grown and need more than they used to. We also sometimes find a parent packing a good lunch that the child doesn’t like. Sometimes what used to be a big enough Café Days order now could use some supplemental food from home.  We also see students who pack their own lunches may or may not pack an appropriate amount of food. Please talk to your children about how lunch is working for them to ensure that the amount packed is appropriate and appealing!

We are open to feedback on our emergency food procedures.  Thank you for your support!

Christi Whiteside

ECS Director