Schools are getting increased pressure from parents and carers of children with food allergies, intolerances, and coeliac disease. (Food Hypersensitivity-FHS).

There is a myriad of hazards that can impact on the safety of FHS pupils, and these include and but are not limited to:

  • Contact with other pupils who are handling foods.
  • Sharing with friends.
  • Classroom treats and cookery sessions.
  • Celebrations.
  • School trips including stay aways.

For parents / carers and schools it can be extremely challenging and only through open discussions and learning between all parties can hazards be identified and controlled.

For lunchtimes school caterers must follow rigorous protocols and provide special diet menus for those pupils who need them. Therefore, pupil care planning needs to involve the catering manager in discussions to ensure any special diet foods being prepared are managed effectively to avoid any cross contact and is monitored all the way through to the point of service.

Once served there may also be processes needed to ensure a safe dining experience. All staff must be aware of identifying allergic reaction symptoms and know what to do in an emergency.

Creating and implementing policies are essential to demonstrate the organisation has all the correct procedures in place, however, they are only fully effective when staff are properly trained.

Administering antihistamine and medical emergency training go hand in hand when schools have pupils on role who could suffer from anaphylaxis.

Whilst schools are rightly concerned about allergies it is incumbent on the school caterer to ensure its allergen management and special diet catering is 100% on point to support the school’s wider obligations.

Caterers can access expert advice at Allergen Accreditation: and there are some excellent resources available to schools from Anaphylaxis UK: as well as from

Julian Edwards FIH, FCSI, CFSP – CEO of Allergen Accreditation