Food Allergies

Best Practice Measure to Reduce Exposure to Allergens

“Protecting a student from exposure to offending allergens is the most important way to prevent anaphylaxis. Schools are often considered high-risk settings because of the risk of cross contaminations on tables, desks and other surfaces, and exposures to allergic foods because of food sharing, hidden ingredients, craft, art and science projects, bus transportation, fundraisers, bake sales, parties and holiday celebrations, field trips, and substitute teaching staff being unaware of the food-allergic student.” (Guidelines of Managing Life Threatening Food Allergies in Illinois Schools)

Recommended Best Practices for Schools

  • Address life-threatening allergic reaction prevention in all classrooms, food services/cafeterias, classroom projects, crafts, outdoor activity areas, on school buses, during field trips, before- and after-school activities and in all instructional areas.

  • Adapt curriculum, awards, rewards or prizes by substituting allergen-free food or non food item(s) in rooms where students having Emergency Action Plan (EAP) are or may be present.

  • Limit food related to fundraising, birthday celebrations, PTA functions to cafeteria or another designated areas. Incorporate non-allergenic foods or non-food items.

  • Establish cleaning procedures for common areas (i.e., libraries, computer labs, music, art room and hallways, etc.)

  • Avoid the use of food products as displays or components of displays in hallways.

  • Develop protocols for appropriate cleaning methods following events held at the school that involve food.

  • Determine who should be familiar with the student’s 504 Plan and/or Individual Health Care Plan.

  • Visit the forms page for Severe Allergy Action Plan and Medication Orders