Duval/Contracted Food Service Vendor’s
Policy for the Management of Food Allergies and Medical Conditions
USDA guidance for managing students with special needs states that if a child has allergy or intolerance to a food or a medical condition that requires menu modification, and they generally do not have a disability as defined under either Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or Part B of IDEA, the food service may, but is not required to, make food substitutions for them. However, when, in the licensed physician’s assessment, food allergies may result in severe, life threatening (anaphylactic) reactions, the child’s condition would meet the definition of “disability” and the substitutions prescribed by the licensed physician must be made at no expense to the family.
For purposes of this policy the school district of Duval County will make accommodations for food allergies and medical conditions when they are deemed disabilities. In order for an allergy or medical condition to be accommodated, the following steps need to occur.
1. A licensed physician needs to conclude that a child has an allergy or medical condition that is determined to be a disability as stated above. This information should be sent to the District utilizing the form “Eating and Feeding Evaluation: Children with Special Needs.” This form will list the student’s dietary restrictions along with appropriate food substitutions. Once received, this form will be provided to the Food Service Management Company, the School Nurse, and the Principal. Milk is the only allergy that has an exception that will not require the “Eating and Feeding Evaluation: Children with Special Needs”. If a child has a milk allergy or intolerance, a parent/guardian or physician note will suffice to provide a milk substitute.
2. A meeting or phone call with the child’s parent/guardian needs to be set-up and menu options discussed. The agreed upon menu will be signed by the parent or guardian. If a menu substitution or change is required, the parent/guardian will be notified for agreement and signature.
3. The menu revisions then need to be brought back the Resident Dietitian(s) and Director of Culinary and evaluated. The menu is then to be submitted to the District for approval.
4. Once approved, training for staff on site to ensure awareness of the specific allergy should be conducted by the District Supervisor and Resident Dietitians. This includes making staff at each site aware that a specific child requires a special diet to avoid food allergy, they will need information regarding the specific food allergy and how to check ingredients on products to ensure the products do not contain the allergen, how to ensure the child with the allergy does not consume the food, and what substitutions if any are able to occur within the specified menu.
5. The Child’s meal record, the student identification to purchase a meal, is to be tagged, by the IT representative, as allergic to “insert food allergen.” Please ensure this child does not eat, “insert foods to avoid.” A printed modified menu needs to be available at all serving lines to ensure the child does not receive items that they should avoid. Reasonable accommodations will be implemented within 3 business days. For more complicated menu accommodations (i.e. severe allergies or new and unknown allergies) reasonable accommodations will be implemented within 7 business days. If a reasonable accommodation cannot be made within 7 business days, the FSMC will contact the District Representative, the student’s parents and the student’s physician to advise them of the progress being made to accommodate the student’s dietary restrictions.
6. A second meeting with the parent should occur to provide the menu that the child should follow. It should be recommended to the parent to make their child aware to avoid foods not on the menu as they may contain items that the child is allergic to.
7. In the event a cafeteria manager changes, training will be mandatory for the new staff.