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Food allergies and special diets in schools

Food allergies amongst children are becoming more common. It is estimated that between 5 and 8% of children in the UK have a food intolerance or allergy.

South Tyneside Council is committed to ensuring that children who need a special diet can be confident of enjoying a tasty lunch every day in school.

We understand that parents and carers need to have assurance that their child's lunch is prepared safely and allergen-free by trained and experienced catering staff.

If your child has an allergy

To help us provide your child with a superb meals service that meets their individual needs, this is the process we follow:

  1. Inform your child's school as soon as you are aware that your child has an allergy.
  2. The school will contact the Council catering team to alert them to your child's needs.
  3. If the allergy is severe it is likely that a dietician will be involved in menu planning for your child.
  4. A meeting will be arranged for you (parent / carer), School Cook, and Catering Officer to discuss your child's dietary needs. If a meeting is difficult for you it may be possible to discuss your child's meals on the phone; however a meeting is recommended.
  5. Our School Cook and the kitchen team will be trained to make sure that all staff understand your child's needs.
  6. We will ask your permission to keep a photo of your child discreetly behind the kitchen counter in a file, so that catering staff can recognise your child in the lunch queue.

Catering officers will be delighted to discuss your child's school lunches.

Peanuts, nuts or peanut-based products

We do not knowingly use peanuts, nuts or peanut-based products in our school meals.

However some products may be produced in a factory where nuts and peanuts are used and therefore contamination of these products may occur. Therefore we cannot guarantee that all products are always nut free and peanut free.

Medical, religious and therapeutic diets

If your child requires a special diet please contact us on 0191 427 7000 (8am to 8pm Monday-Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays) to discuss your requirements.

More information

If you would like information about the ingredients we use in our school recipes, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0191 427 7000 (8am to 8pm Monday-Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays).

Please note that although we take every measure to ensure meals are safe for those with allergies, we cannot guarantee 100% that our meals are allergen-free.

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Find out about our wide range of services for children and families. We want to build safer and stronger families, provide increased opportunities for enterprise learning and skills within healthier communities.

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