Allergy Awareness and Nut-Free Tables

  • WLWV Nursing Department Guidance for Allergy Awareness and Nut-Free Tables

    When a student is identified as having a potentially life threatening allergy, a district nurse contacts the student’s parent/guardian. If it is determined that the student does have a severe allergy:

    • Parents provide medical documentation that includes a diagnosis and treatment plan that the nurse uses to create a Health Management Plan.
    • Nutrition Services receives notice of the student’s food allergy
    • Allergy Aware letter is sent to classroom (Primary level – at the beginning of the school year only)
    • Health Management Plan is sent to building ERT as well as classroom teacher(s)
    • Health Management Plan is attached in ePEP

    Our expectations for any student with a severe allergy:

    • Students in his/her classroom wash their hands with soap and water before and after lunch
    • All students and supervising staff understand that there is no sharing of food
    • Tables are cleaned before each group sits down to eat
    • Trained staff are available to administer emergency epinephrine if signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis are present
    • Supervising staff are aware of which students have allergies
    • New students with food allergies are introduced to the food services staff at the beginning of the year to ensure safe food choices are served before school pictures are available to identify students.

    Additional accommodations, such as nut free tables, are more restrictive than is typically necessary. With a variety of food allergies present in our schools (dairy, nuts, soy, etc.) it becomes increasingly difficult to have allergy free tables because of the limited number of foods that are left when we eliminate all the allergens present for students in each school. The need for an allergy-free table should be determined collaboratively by the student, student’s parent, district nurse, school counselor, and the student’s doctor.

    A 504 plan should accompany this accommodation with the following considerations:

    • Social impacts related to sitting alone or with a restricted group of peers at lunch
    • 1 table is designated as allergy-free
    • Custodians are notified of this table in order to maintain separate cleaning supplies for this table to prevent cross contamination
    • Teachers to notify all students that only those without the identified allergen in their lunch may sit at that table
    • Designated staff member(s) must check all lunches of students sitting at the allergy-free table to make sure they do not have the allergen in their lunches. Only students with prepackaged foods with ingredients listed or verifiable hot lunch items will be allowed to sit at the table.
    • The student with the food allergy needs to understand this plan.
    • Annual review of the plan to determine if it is still appropriate based on current severity of allergy and grade level.