Date
20 November 2019

Create and safe and inclusive eating environments

Identify where and how contact with food allergens may occur throughout the day.

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Prevent accidental exposure

Prevent accidental exposure

Food allergies can be life threatening and even small amounts of a food allergen can cause anaphylaxis.

Use this checklist when planning activities involving food.

  • I know which learners have been diagnosed as at risk of anaphylaxis.
  • I know which learners have a food allergy and I know their food triggers.
  • I have communicated with the learners who are diagnosed as at risk of anaphylaxis and their parents/carers, to ensure I am well informed about their condition.
  • I have immediate access to and have read a child or young person's anaphylaxis/allergy action plan.
  • I know where individual and general use adrenaline auto-injectors are stored.
  • I know the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction and I can access and provide appropriate first aid.
  • Curriculum and extracurricular materials have been reviewed to make sure that they are allergy-free and avoid allergy triggers.
  • Procedures are in place for checking ingredient labels.
  • Specific work practices, such as separate equipment, are in place for students at high risk of anaphylaxis.
  • I have reminded learners about the risks associated with food sharing.
  • Efficient cleaning strategies are used to eliminate cross- contamination during food handling, preparation, and serving.

Source: Adapted from Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management within the Curriculum P–12, New South Wales Department of Education and Communities (opens in a new tab/window)

School settings

School settings

Ensure students avoid ingesting even a small amount of the food they are allergic to.

  • The use of food in classroom activities (cooking, celebrations, science, art, and craft activities) may need to be restricted depending on the allergies of particular students.
  • Use non-food rewards.
  • Label food to avoid hidden ingredients in shared lunches, school canteens, and food stalls.
  • Ensure food, utensils, or food containers are not shared or traded.
  • Label bottles, drinks, and lunch boxes provided by parents for their children with the name of the child for whom they are intended.
  • Wash toys regularly.
  • Keep eating areas separate from learning and playing areas. Wipe tables after eating inside.
  • Ensure hand washing before and after consuming or handling food.
  • Ensure areas where food and drink is consumed are cleaned and rubbish items, such as milk cartons, are disposed of.

Source: Adapted from Allergy New Zealand (opens in a new tab/window)

Early learning settings

Early learning settings

Identify where and how contact with food allergens may occur throughout the day in your centre.

Potential challenges include:

  • the exploration of surroundings and objects through all senses, particularly the mouth  – wipe surfaces immediately after food preparation and serving
  • surface contact with allergens, for example, when crawling on the floor – decide on and use designated spaces for eating so that food isn’t dropped on floors
  • accidental exposure to food as children are still learning the concept of sharing – name children’s lunchboxes and drink bottles, monitor children eating, and ensure all staff know those children with allergies.

Source: Managing Food Allergies in Early Care Settings (opens in a new tab/window)

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Managing food allergies in the classroom

Publisher: Food Allergy Research & Education

Visit website

File

Teacher’s checklist for managing food allergies

Read time: 1 min

Publisher: Food Allergy Research & Education

Download PDF

Website

Thriving with allergies

Publisher: Elizabeth Bostic

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Create an inclusive learning environment”:

Return to the guide “Allergies and learning”

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