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Severe Allergies and Special Diets



Updated September 2017

The Department for Education guidance on school food provision states
that special diets, food allergies or intolerances must be taken seriously.
Schools and caterers should work closely with parents to support
children with medically verified special dietary needs, allergies or
In all cases it is the schools responsibility to provide an individual
healthcare plan (IHCP) for every child with a medical condition. A
completed IHCP should be shared with the parent/carer. All relevant
dietary information should also be shared with catering service once it
has been agreed.
Kirklees catering service understands its responsibility to communicate
its policy and procedures to ensure it effectively facilitates the needs of
children who may require a special diet or have an associated food
This procedure includes information for schools and catering staff which
• Schools responsibility
• Catering Management responsibility
• Catering Supervisory responsibility
• Head Office responsibility
In theory any food could cause an allergic reaction in someone; however
EU FIC (Food Information for Consumer) regulations; introduced in
December 2014 list 14 foods which are the most common causes of
severe allergic reactions.
• Eggs
• Milk
• Fish
• Crustaceans (for example crab, lobster, crayfish, shrimp, prawn)
• Molluscs (for example mussels, oysters, squid)
• Peanuts
• Tree nuts (namely almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans,
brazils, pistachios, macadamia nuts or Queensland nuts)
• Sesame seeds
• Cereals containing gluten (namely wheat (such as spelt, Khorasan
wheat/Kamut), rye, barley, oats, or their hybridised strains)
• Soya
• Celery and celeriac
• Mustard
• Lupin
• Sulphur dioxide and sulphites (at concentration of more than ten parts
per million)
Our current statement on Allergens is as follows:
“Kirklees Catering Services recognises its responsibility to produce safe,
legal & nutritious food within our schools and catering outlets. We
recognise that our customers with food allergies and food intolerances
need to be fully informed about the nature and composition of the foods
we produce. Information about allergenic ingredients will be provided at
each establishment upon request by the Catering Supervisor/Manager.
As part of our commitment to our customers we regularly review the
technical information for all products used in our kitchens. Products
known to contain nuts or sesame are not authorised by our service.
However; there are no legal requirements for the labelling of the possible
adventitious presence of allergens, therefore Kirklees Catering Service
is unable to guarantee this to our customers. The service like many
other caterers and food retailers takes this stance because of the
inability of suppliers and manufacturers to guarantee that their products
are completely free of any allergen ingredient.”
This procedure must be followed for children who are at risk of a severe
allergic reaction to food requiring immediate medical attention. Life
threatening symptoms can include swelling of the throat, severe asthma
and anaphylaxis (shock) which is the most severe. Treatment is most
likely to include a pre-loaded adrenaline injection and/or antihistamines
Please note: although it is service policy to provide a child with a ‘special
diet’ (gluten free, diabetic) such diets must not be implemented unless
requested formally by the school and supported by a medically
supported (IHCP)
• The head teacher or nominated person in charge must identify
pupils that take school meals who:
o Have a reported severe life threatening food allergy, who are
at risk of a severe allergic reaction requiring immediate
medical attention.
o Have medically verified special dietary needs, allergies or
• The Head Teacher or nominated person in charge must meet with
the parents of these children (Catering Officer will attend if
• Ensure they give the parents a copy of the Catering Service
Severe Allergies and Special Diets procedures, and that the
parents are fully aware of its content.
• Complete a Care Plan (IHCP) for the child
• Ensure verified medically supported documentation is in place to
support the (IHCP)
• Make the necessary arrangements to support the child during
lunchtimes and during school excursions.
• Provide the kitchen with the relevant section of the child’s Care
Plan, accompanied with a photo of the child or an alternative
method which clearly identifies the child. (as a service we
recommend multiple methods for identification)
• At the start of each term, or as required liaise with the catering
department to check records are up to date and accurate.
• Ad-hoc dietary provision must NOT be provided under any
Catering Supervisors/Managers/Covering Supervisor/Managers
• When a school formally requests the catering service to support a
child’s specific allergy or special diet you should liaise with the
school and the child’s parent/carer to discuss the diet in detail.
• Use only authorised recipes and follow them precisely.
• Use only authorised suppliers and agreed products/ingredients.
Prescription products or gluten free products; provide by parents
are permissible; however these must be provided in unopened
packaging, clearly labelled and identified and stored separate to
other ingredients.
• Do not store/have any food in your kitchen other than authorised
• Where possible separate storage should be used for products
containing any of the 14 named allergens. Un-opened packages
may be stored in the same container but once opened must be
stored in separate, sealed containers.
• Check the ingredient labels of any items delivered in error or
substituted. If found to CONTAIN nuts or sesame (listed in the
ingredients) ensure they are returned to the supplier and inform
your Catering Officer. If a product is described as ‘May Contain’
any of the listed allergens this may be used but MUST NOT be
served to pupils suffering from a known allergy.
• Check the ingredient labels of any products you are unfamiliar with
as they may contain ingredients not necessarily associated with
that product.
• Keep the allergy/special diet file up to date, accurate and in a
prominent position.
• Ensure that the responsibility of these children at lunchtime
remains with the school.
• Ensure that the allergy sign is displayed by the service counter.
• Ensure all existing and new staff are trained in this procedure.
• Ensure that all staff are aware of all children with medical dietary
• Check with school at the start of each term for details of any pupils
with allergens/dietary requirements and record this check on the
allergen and special diets termly check form.
• Ad-hoc dietary provision must Not be provided under any
Catering Officer
• Attend any meetings as requested by the head teacher and ensure
catering supervisor/manager is aware of any arrangement or
agreed outcomes.
• Ensure that the catering manager/supervisor has received the
appropriate training and is confident with providing the dietary
request. If the employee doesn’t feel confident please ensure
appropriate training and support is delivered as a priority.
• Monitor this procedure during site visits
Catering Head Office
• Ensure that allergen information and procedures are available on
One Hub
• Screen new products and recipes, ensuring that allergen advice is
kept up to date on recipe cards.
• Ensure information about allergies/special diets form part of
induction training for new catering supervisors/managers
• Review, amend and communicate this policy annually or as
legislation changes.
Click on the link to view our Individual Health Care Plan
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