Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Food Allergy Guidelines

Here's something school principals should review and share with their staffs...

On Monday, OSPI released its Food Allergy Guidelines, created in conjunction with the Food Allergy Advisory Committee, a group comprised of parents, school nutritionists, nurses, administrators and pupil transportation staff. In 2007, the Legislature appropriated $45,000 OSPI to convene a workgroup to finalize draft guidelines and develop school food allergy guidelines and policies for districts to implement beginning in 2008-09.

The guide includes recommendations, forms and procedures school personnel need to anticipate and respond to situations involving students with these potentially life-threatening issues. The publication also includes a complete reference of all related Washington state laws and federal regulations.

According to the Food Allergy and Anphylaxis Network (FAAN), about 12 million people in the U.S have food allergies; 3 million of them are children. Eight foods account for 90 percent of all food-allergic reactions in the U.S.: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (e.g., walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans), wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish. You can read additional facts about food allergies here.

Let us know if your school has implemented any particular procedures or practices that have helped students become more aware of food allergies or better manage them schoolwide.

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