Food Allergy Proposed Legislation - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/30/2007- Tyler

Food Allergy Proposed Legislation

About 12 million americans, or one of every 25 people have some type of food allergy including children. Parents send their kids to school expecting a safe environment and lawmakers are trying to set a standard for schools to follow in dealing with students with food allergies.

With 18,000 students at Tyler Independent Schools Nancy Jones and all the T.I.S.D. nurses have had many students with food allergies. 

"We have some students that have fish allergies, nuts, wheat, eggs," said Nancy.

They have protocol set up for dealing with these particular kids. The key she says communication between the parent and the school.

"Once the child has been identified the nurse will sit down with the parent and go over what the parent can tell us about the child. What is specific to that child. What to look for," said Nancy, "We go over doctors orders and then she does some training with the faculty. Makes them aware so they know. If the child has an EPI pen she does training with that to let them know where it is, when to use it, what signs to look for."

They then discuss with the school cafeteria.and that's where Victor Olivares comes in. He is in charge of the thousands of meals prepared at T.I.S.D. kitchens.

"We put an alert message. Allergic to peanuts. As soon as the child scans the card or puts ID into system," said Victor Olivares Coordinator of Food Services,"Before they can proceed from the cashier point of view its going to have an alert message blinking. Allergic to peanut allergy. They can't proceed without saying yes. Meaning I read it. At that point then can look at the tray make sure there is nothing on there that could be potentially harmful to the child."

The proposed legislation sets a blueprint for what public schools should do when managing students with food allergies. Their recommendations everything T.I.S.D. already does.

"We are pretty much online with what the legislature is going to ask for," said Nancy. "I feel comfortable we are meeting the needs of our children."

Danielle Capper, Reporting.


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