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An example of a care plan for a child can be downloaded here. If required you can complete it with your child’s details and then ensure everyone who looks after your child has a copy.
Preparing food for someone with a severe food allergy can be challenging, but managing the risk is a matter of common sense.
As a household you may decide to give up the offending food, banning it from entering the home, this will guard against mistakes being made and avoid cross-contamination.
If you choose not to ban the allergenic food, be scrupulous about keeping risky foods apart from the safe ones. Wash your hands, cutlery and utensils to prevent cross-contamination. Use plenty of soapy water. To be on the safe side, use separate crockery, cutlery and chopping boards for different foods. Avoid splatters and spillages by covering food up.
Food labelling laws state that food companies must always declare the presence of 14 major allergens when they appear in pre-packed food. The place where they must appear is the ingredient list. A key message is that people with food allergies must read the ingredient list every time they buy a product, even if they have bought it before. Recipes sometimes change.
Warning labels stating that a product “may contain” a particular allergen, such as nuts, are infuriating because they limit choice and make shopping complicated, but often these warnings are there for a reason because of the risks of cross-contamination during the production chain. Our advice to people is clear: Don’t ignore these warnings. You may eat a product numerous times without having a reaction but the next time you may not be so lucky. Cross-contamination can be intermittent.
To see what the law says on food labelling, click here.
Some people with severe food allergies feel it is too risky to eat out, but many catering outlets have good allergy controls in place and can offer accurate ingredient information. By taking care and asking direct questions, you won’t have to be denied the pleasure of going out for a meal.
Some tips that you may like to follow:
Helping school staff to care for your allergic child deserves a section of its own. Click here.