The people who serve Missouri’s schoolchildren their meals are facing the growing problem of food allergies. The problem is severe enough that the Missouri School Boards Association has held a seminar to emphasize the issues and the need for school food officials to be aware of the risks to their students.
Seminar participants have been told there are about 170 foods with allergies attached–but that 90 percent of the problems come from eight foods, mostly peanuts, tree nuts, milk and eggs.
The state education department’s school food services supervisor, Karen Wooten, says parents have a responsibility. “If the parents can communicate with the school district…that would help all the way around,” she says.
She says school food personnel work with school health officials. She says there has been training available through the National Food Service Management Institute but it’s not required.
She agrees with participants in the seminar that a team approach involving parents and the school community will head off the large percentage of problems.