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Severe Allergies & Special Diets


In theory any food could cause an allergic reaction in someone; however EU FIC (Food Information for Consumer) regulations; introduced in December 2014 list 14 foods which are the most common causes of severe allergic reactions.

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Fish
  • Crustaceans (for example crab, lobster, crayfish, shrimp, prawn)
  • Molluscs (for example mussels, oysters, squid)
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts (namely almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans, brazils, pistachios, macadamia nuts or Queensland nuts)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Cereals containing gluten (namely wheat (such as spelt, Khorasan wheat/Kamut), rye, barley, oats, or their hybridised strains)
  • Soya
  • Celery and celeriac
  • Mustard
  • Lupin
  • Sulphur dioxide and sulphites (at concentration of more than ten parts per million)

Our current statement on Allergens is as follows:

“Kirklees Catering Services recognises its responsibility to produce safe, legal & nutritious food within our schools and catering outlets. We recognise that our customers with food allergies and food intolerances need to be fully informed about the nature and composition of the foods we produce. Information about allergenic ingredients will be provided at each establishment upon request by the Catering Supervisor/Manager.

As part of our commitment to our customers we regularly review the technical information for all products used in our kitchens. Products known to contain nuts or sesame are not authorised by our service. However; there are no legal requirements for the labelling of the possible adventitious presence of allergens, therefore Kirklees Catering Service is unable to guarantee this to our customers. The service like many other caterers and food retailers takes this stance because of the inability of suppliers and manufacturers to guarantee that their products are completely free of any allergen ingredient.”

This procedure must be followed for children who are at risk of a severe allergic reaction to food requiring immediate medical attention. Life threatening symptoms can include swelling of the throat, severe asthma and anaphylaxis (shock) which is the most severe. Treatment is most likely to include a pre-loaded adrenaline injection and/or antihistamines and special dietary requests.

Special Diets

Please note: although it is service policy to provide a child with a ‘special diet’ (gluten free, diabetic) such diets must not be implemented unless requested formally by the school and supported (IHCP)


1.1 The Head Teacher or nominated lead should familiarise themselves with the Kirklees Medical Needs Policy
1.2 The Head Teacher or nominated lead must identify children that take school meals who:

  • Have a reported severe life threatening food allergy, who are at risk of a severe allergic reaction requiring immediate medical attention.
  • Have medically verified special dietary needs, allergies or intolerances

1.3 The Head Teacher or nominated lead must meet with the parents/carer of the child along with a representative from the catering service.
1.4 Ensure parents are provided with a copy of the catering service Severe Allergies and Special Diets procedures, and that the parents/carer are fully aware of its content.
1.5 Complete a care plan (IHCP) for the child.
1.6 Ensure verified medically supported documentation is in place to support the (IHCP) request.
1.7 Ensure that all menu choices have been pre-agreed and signed by the school, parents and the catering service.
1.8 Make the appropriate arrangements for the support and supervision, for ANY food related activity by an appropriate member of school staff. E.g. Breakfast club, lunchtime, after-school clubs and during school excursions.
1.8.1 Children who are at risk of a severe allergic reaction to food requiring immediate medical attention. Life threatening symptoms can include swelling of the throat, severe asthma and anaphylaxis (shock) which is the most severe. Treatment is most likely to include a pre-loaded adrenaline injection and/or antihistamines MUST be accompanied at the point of service at all times.
1.9 Provide the kitchen with the relevant section of the child’s care plan, accompanied with a photo of the child and ensure
parents/carer are aware the photo will be displayed discreetly within the school kitchen. Consent form must be completed. (As a service we recommend multiple methods for identifying children with special dietary requirements)
1.10 Ensure where applicable that allergen information is preloaded on to the schools “Pupil Management System” to enable the dietary information to be available on the caterers Nationwide Biometric till system.
1.11 At the start of each term, or if any changes occur; liaise with the catering supervisor/manager to check and ensure records are up to date and accurate.
1.12 Provide IHCP supporting information for children switching from packed lunches on to schools meals or for children taking theme day meals
1.13 Ad-hoc dietary provision will NOT be provided under any circumstances

Catering Supervisors/Managers/Covering Supervisor/Managers
2.1 When a school formally requests the catering service to support a child’s specific allergy or special diet you should liaise with the Head Teacher or nominated lead in school and the child’s parent/carer to discuss the diet in detail.
2.2 Ensure that the menu has been pre agreed and signed by the Head Teacher or nominated lead and the parent/carer.
2.3 Ensure copies of IHCP, photos and agreed menu are in the green Allergies & Special Diets File. It is acceptable to have copies of this information on display in the kitchen, however this must be displayed discreetly.
2.4 Keep the green severe allergy/special diet folder up to date, accurate and in a prominent position. Do not store this information in any other folder/location.
2.4.1 High Schools must update their Nationwide Biometrics system every term to display the child’s allergy information.
2.5 Check with school at the start of each term for details of any child’s with allergens/dietary requirements and record this check on the allergen and special diets termly check form.
2.6 Ensure that the responsibility for child/children with special dietary/severe allergies remains with the school.
2.7 Ensure that allergy signs are displayed by the service counter.
2.8 Use only authorised recipes and follow them precisely.

  • Use only authorised suppliers and agreed products/ingredients. Prescription products or gluten free products; provided by parents are permissible; however these must be in unopened packaging, clearly labelled and identifiable and stored separate to other ingredients.

2.9 Do not store/have any ingredients in your kitchen other than authorised products/ingredients.
2.10 Where possible separate storage should be used for products containing any of the 14 named allergens. Un-opened packages may be stored in the same container but once opened must be stored in separate, sealed containers.
2.11 Check the ingredient labels of any items delivered in error or substituted. If found to CONTAIN nuts or sesame (listed in the ingredients) ensure they are returned to the supplier and inform your Catering Officer.
2.12 If a product is described as ‘May Contain’ any of the listed allergens this may be used but MUST NOT be served to Children suffering from a known allergy.
2.13 Regularly check ingredient labelling, especially on unfamiliar products as they may contain ingredients not necessarily associated with that product.
2.14 Ensure all existing, new and flexi/mobile staff working in your kitchen have received the “Severe Allergies and Special Diets Training” and have been trained in this procedure. This must be recorded on the ‘New Starter Checklist’.
2.15 Ensure that all staff are aware of all children with dietary requirements.
2.16 Ensure that all tasks related to a dietary requests are only undertaken/carried out by the supervisor/manager or cook.
2.17 Report any food related incidents; including near misses; that relate to children with a special diet or food allergy to your Catering Officer immediately.
2.18 Ad-hoc dietary provision must NOT be provided under any circumstances

Catering Officer
3.1 Attend any meetings as requested by the head teacher and ensure your catering supervisor/manager is also in-attendance and that they are fully aware of agreed outcomes.
3.2 Ensure that the catering manager/supervisor has received the appropriate training and is confident and competent with providing the dietary request.
3.3 Monitor this procedure during site visits.
3.4 Log any food related incidents on the Food Incident Reporting Log and follow-up actions

Catering Head Office
4.1 Ensure that allergen information and procedures are available via SLA online.
4.2 Screen new products and recipes, ensuring that allergen advice is kept up to date on recipe cards.
4.3 Ensure information about allergies/special diets form part of induction training for new catering supervisors/managers and cooks
4.4 Review, amend and communicate this policy annually and as legislation changes.
4.5 Review the Food Incident Reporting Log and actions as an agenda item at catering team meetings.

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