Food Allergies & Special Dietary Needs
The Nutrition Services Department wants to ensure the safest possible environment for all students. We have students with a wide variety of life threatening allergies in our district. They range from peanuts, tree nuts, egg, dairy, soy, and shell fish to apples and kiwi. It is impossible to eliminate all food allergens totally from the school food programs due to the number of food sources that come into the schools, the potential for hidden ingredients, and the possibility of contamination of food where it is packaged. Additionally, ingredients may be changed by the manufacturer without prior notice. Actions that we are taking include:
- Identifying the most common food allergens, trying to limit their use within reasonable limits, and notifying staff and students when they appear on the menu.
- Since nuts and tree nuts are the most common allergen in the district, we have taken the step of eliminating these ingredients from our school meal programs.
- Parents and students can utilize the department’s new digital menu to determine which of the top 8 allergens are present in menu items that are being served. The new digital menus can be accessed online at http://www.healtheliving.net/instance/2043027/district/21.
- Working with Bellevue School Nurses, an effort is made to identify all students with specific life threatening food allergies. To help assist us in the process, it is important to still notify the school and nutrition services if your student has a food allergy even if your student doesn’t purchase breakfast or lunch on a regular basis. The school’s nurse and kitchen staff would be happy to meet with you and your student to help them get better acquainted with meal service process. School lunchroom staff try not to serve these students a food to which he/she may be allergic, but with the number of students served every day, it is essential for the student to take responsibility to avoid these foods.
- Allergen information will be posted in the cafeteria in front of the lunch line and in front of each meal option. The posted information indicates the allergens in each meal. It is important your student reminds the cafeteria staff of their allergen when they come through the line so we can ensure they pick a meal option which does not include that allergen.
A Special Dietary Needs Form must be completed by your student’s physician before Nutrition Services can make adjustments in the published menu to meet a special dietary need, including a life threatening food allergy. Please email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax: (425) 456-4586.
Contact Nutrition Services at (425)456-4507 if you need assistance or wish to discuss your student’s special dietary needs. Together we will continue to work in maintaining the safest environment possible for all Bellevue students.