New food and allergies guidance
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    Default New food and allergies guidance

    From Dec 13th 2014 all food providers will have to inform customers what is in their food! This is nothing to do with Ofsted or DfE – it’s from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in conjunction with DEFRA.

    While some Ofsted inspectors might check you are doing it, the legislative body is the Food Standards Authority – your Local Environmental Health Dept.

    I have written the following guidance to help you prepare for the changes.

    If you have any questions please ask!

    NEW food allergy legislation.pdf

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    I actually think this is a good idea!

    I know we check ingredients when we know a child has allergies, but being more concious of what actually goes in our food may surprise a lot of people

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    We have been answering a lot of questions from our members on our Independent Childminders Facebook group about this new legislation so I have written a question and answer document to help everyone...

    NEW food allergen legislation - Q & A.pdf

    I hope you find it useful

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddleywinks View Post
    I actually think this is a good idea!

    I know we check ingredients when we know a child has allergies, but being more concious of what actually goes in our food may surprise a lot of people
    I totally agree!

    If the woman who sold my child a piece of carrot cake full of peanuts had listed her ingredients clearly he wouldn't have been blue lighted to hospital and it would have saved a heck of a lot of pain and panic

    If it makes us all more aware of what is in the food we eat it can only be a good thing x

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    I usually have a few 'dishes' that I prepare regularly but don't put down as a menu as we could have any of them on different days. Would it be OK, to list the 'dish' and what allergens it contains and send that to the parents, or is it best to have it on a noticeboard?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ripeberry View Post
    I usually have a few 'dishes' that I prepare regularly but don't put down as a menu as we could have any of them on different days. Would it be OK, to list the 'dish' and what allergens it contains and send that to the parents, or is it best to have it on a noticeboard?
    You do not need to list the allergens or have it on a notice board- you just need to be able to tell parents what food child has eaten and what allergens were contained IF ASKED. So as long as you know what you put in a dish then that is fine, check labels yourself, keep food receipts so you know what you have used etc.

    I fear a lot of people are going to make a lot of unnecessary work for themselves believing it is what they have to do.

    As Sarah says in her info sheet, page 3, about 'verbally sharing info' and 'back up in writing if requested'.

    I am adding to my Food and Drink Policy that if asked I can tell them what of the 14 allergens have been given in the child's food/drink.

    Anyway, you might write it on a notice board as part of a day's menu but the child doesn't like it and eats a bit of bread instead!

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    I agree with Moggy, you have to be able to produce a list if asked.

    I'm spending the next month or so, every day actually listing the ingredients for all meals provided to put in a folder (Recipes: food allergens and ingredients)
    As I do a 4 week menu all I need to do is add any allergens to the list that goes on the parents board each week - not that any of them seem to look at it

    Things that have variable ingredients, so bolognese for example, week 1 I might use Dolmio, the next week Asda extra special, etc I plan to list the ingredients for each make of sauce I use, as I use it, note the allergens on the ingredient list

    so my list will look something like this:

    Meal : Bolognese

    Ingredients:

    100% Durum Wheat Pasta
    Onion
    Carrot
    100% Beef mince

    Sauce: Dolmio Sauce: Asda ES Tomato and Basil Sauce: Lloyd Grossman Tomato and Basil
    List of the ingredients on the jar label for each make used underneath for each

    Allergens:
    Lloyd Grossman: Wheat/May contain nuts
    Dolmio: Wheat/Celery
    Asda ES : Wheat/Celery/Fish stock

    By starting the ingredients list now, I have 3 months to get it done and hopefully each meal shouldn't take more than a few minutes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddleywinks View Post
    I agree with Moggy, you have to be able to produce a list if asked.

    I'm spending the next month or so, every day actually listing the ingredients for all meals provided to put in a folder (Recipes: food allergens and ingredients)
    As I do a 4 week menu all I need to do is add any allergens to the list that goes on the parents board each week - not that any of them seem to look at it

    Things that have variable ingredients, so bolognese for example, week 1 I might use Dolmio, the next week Asda extra special, etc I plan to list the ingredients for each make of sauce I use, as I use it, note the allergens on the ingredient list

    so my list will look something like this:

    Meal : Bolognese

    Ingredients:

    100% Durum Wheat Pasta
    Onion
    Carrot
    100% Beef mince

    Sauce: Dolmio Sauce: Asda ES Tomato and Basil Sauce: Lloyd Grossman Tomato and Basil
    List of the ingredients on the jar label for each make used underneath for each

    Allergens:
    Lloyd Grossman: Wheat/May contain nuts
    Dolmio: Wheat/Celery
    Asda ES : Wheat/Celery/Fish stock

    By starting the ingredients list now, I have 3 months to get it done and hopefully each meal shouldn't take more than a few minutes
    But that is still an incredible amount of work which is not needed, IMO.

    If you are asked 'what food containing any of the 14 allergens did Freddie eat on Monday?', you can then look at the child's daily diary if you have one and list what was eaten, refer to your own recipes, check labels of what is still in cupboards like the rest of the packet of crackers he ate from that day, check ingredients on-line of a particular cake or jar of sauce you know he ate, and tell parent. Write it down if asked. Job done.

    I believe it is going to be very rare to be asked at all. We are already aware of any known allergies and are very careful about them, so there is no change there.

    I can not see the value of saying in advance on a notice board or menu plan 'Tuesday: Macaroni cheese containing gluten and milk':
    If we know a child has a milk or gluten allergy we would not be serving it any way. Can anyone explain? I am open to all suggestions!

    Yes, if members of the public were walking in and eating my dinners then yes, I would need to tell them because I have no idea what they might be allergic to, but THAT IS NOT THE CASE WITH CMers. We know our children, we are informed by parents already (as in EYFS).

    Yes, I understand if a child suddenly has a new allergic reaction and we are asked 'what has he eaten?' then we need to be able to say. I have no problem with that and could do so with or without this legislation.

    This legislation is mainly aimed at food sellers who sell direct to consumers. They now need to say, 'this cake contains peanuts', that is great, clear and a good idea. But I think it is being blown out of proportion for CMers. On a local CM Facebook page a CM had phoned Env Health to ask about this legislation and was told don't worry, it is not going to effect you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moggy View Post
    But that is still an incredible amount of work which is not needed, IMO.

    If you are asked 'what food containing any of the 14 allergens did Freddie eat on Monday?', you can then look at the child's daily diary if you have one and list what was eaten, refer to your own recipes, check labels of what is still in cupboards like the rest of the packet of crackers he ate from that day, check ingredients on-line of a particular cake or jar of sauce you know he ate, and tell parent. Write it down if asked. Job done.

    I believe it is going to be very rare to be asked at all. We are already aware of any known allergies and are very careful about them, so there is no change there.

    I can not see the value of saying in advance on a notice board or menu plan 'Tuesday: Macaroni cheese containing gluten and milk':
    If we know a child has a milk or gluten allergy we would not be serving it any way. Can anyone explain? I am open to all suggestions!

    Yes, if members of the public were walking in and eating my dinners then yes, I would need to tell them because I have no idea what they might be allergic to, but THAT IS NOT THE CASE WITH CMers. We know our children, we are informed by parents already (as in EYFS).

    Yes, I understand if a child suddenly has a new allergic reaction and we are asked 'what has he eaten?' then we need to be able to say. I have no problem with that and could do so with or without this legislation.

    This legislation is mainly aimed at food sellers who sell direct to consumers. They now need to say, 'this cake contains peanuts', that is great, clear and a good idea. But I think it is being blown out of proportion for CMers. On a local CM Facebook page a CM had phoned Env Health to ask about this legislation and was told don't worry, it is not going to effect you.
    I agree, I'm going to put the ball back into the parents court and tell them about the 14 types of allergen and ask them to let me know if child has had any reaction to them in the past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hectors house View Post
    I agree, I'm going to put the ball back into the parents court and tell them about the 14 types of allergen and ask them to let me know if child has had any reaction to them in the past.
    Yes, that is exactly what the 'Allergen information for loose foods' leaflet advises (google it- Food Standards leaflet, very good and clear), it is for the customer to ask us if there are allergens in the food. We use the new improved labelling on foods to check and we tell the parents.
    Of course, it might be that a child has an allergy we don't yet know about, but then that is why we need to be aware of what a child has eaten just in case we are asked after a new reaction has effected a child.

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    I think I shall send home yet another form to parents, informing of what allergens MAY be in meals I provide ( as like other posters ... I don't use the same ingredients every time I cook the same meal! ) and asking them to inform IF their child has/had a reaction to any of them. might ask them to sign and return form to prove I told them!

    as again, someone else said; I know exactly what any of 'my' children can and can't eat, and do check labels, and check when I'm out if need be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loocyloo View Post
    I think I shall send home yet another form to parents, informing of what allergens MAY be in meals I provide ( as like other posters ... I don't use the same ingredients every time I cook the same meal! ) and asking them to inform IF their child has/had a reaction to any of them. might ask them to sign and return form to prove I told them!

    as again, someone else said; I know exactly what any of 'my' children can and can't eat, and do check labels, and check when I'm out if need be.
    But you already do that- EYFS 2014 Section 3.47 ('...must obtain information about any ... food allergies that the child has...')
    Don't make work for yourself, we do this already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moggy View Post

    But you already do that- EYFS 2014 Section 3.47 ('...must obtain information about any ... food allergies that the child has...')
    Don't make work for yourself, we do this already.
    Oh yes!!!
    Oh well, I'll still send a form home!

  19. #14
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    I am now puzzled by this...
    For the last 21 years my contract has requested parents to list any allergies...not just the child's... but the parents too under 'family medical history'
    If none present when a child starts then they get added to this form as and when necessary if they develop ...a bit like immunisations which get updated

    Health Visitors have always said that a child can develop an allergy that is family related...or passed through the genes

    Armed with all these details...which are confidential...I can then cook and avoid allergens and also cook individually for that child...I rarely follow receipes and cook from fresh so this is going to be hard and an awful lot of added paperwork

    I can't decide if this latest change is bureaucracy gone mad or just common sense?...I am sure the discussions that will follow will be interesting to say the least

    I also wonder what schools will do now on their 'cake sale' day...will children come out of the class holding an ingredients card? and will parents who bake cakes for the school hand their card of allergens to the teacher?
    what about the sweets and chocolate children are given at school for birthdays?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simona View Post
    I am now puzzled by this...
    For the last 21 years my contract has requested parents to list any allergies...not just the child's... but the parents too under 'family medical history'
    If none present when a child starts then they get added to this form as and when necessary if they develop ...a bit like immunisations which get updated

    Health Visitors have always said that a child can develop an allergy that is family related...or passed through the genes

    Armed with all these details...which are confidential...I can then cook and avoid allergens and also cook individually for that child...I rarely follow receipes and cook from fresh so this is going to be hard and an awful lot of added paperwork

    I can't decide if this latest change is bureaucracy gone mad or just common sense?...I am sure the discussions that will follow will be interesting to say the least

    I also wonder what schools will do now on their 'cake sale' day...will children come out of the class holding an ingredients card? and will parents who bake cakes for the school hand their card of allergens to the teacher?
    what about the sweets and chocolate children are given at school for birthdays?
    The leaflet in this thread makes it all look a lot simpler as shows there is no new paperwork needed:

    Food Standards leaflet about new ALLERGENS LEGISLATION

    This is the link:
    Providing allergen information for non pre-packed foods | food.gov.uk

    You are quite right, we are already cooking specifically for our children's needs, which is why this legislation is not really directed at us- if the public were walking in for dinner that would be a different matter. We are already able to fulfil the legislation without doing much more than we already do.
    Last edited by moggy; 07-09-2014 at 09:53 AM.

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  23. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by moggy View Post
    The leaflet in this thread makes it all look a lot simpler as shows there is no new paperwork needed:

    Food Standards leaflet about new ALLERGENS LEGISLATION

    This is the link:
    Providing allergen information for non pre-packed foods | food.gov.uk

    You are quite right, we are already cooking specifically for our children's needs, which is why this legislation is not really directed at us- if the public were walking in for dinner that would be a different matter. We are already able to fulfil the legislation without doing much more than we already do.
    Thanks Moggy and AgentTink for this link which is posted on the other thread too

    I have printed the leaflet but what it does not mention is food such as kiwi...strawberries and tomatoes which some children are allergic to...even lemon and honey are ingredients I have to avoid in my food due to allergy...so yes we still need parents to keep us fully informed on what they want us to avoid

    Thanks everyone

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    Quote Originally Posted by moggy View Post
    You do not need to list the allergens or have it on a notice board- you just need to be able to tell parents what food child has eaten and what allergens were contained IF ASKED. So as long as you know what you put in a dish then that is fine, check labels yourself, keep food receipts so you know what you have used etc.

    I fear a lot of people are going to make a lot of unnecessary work for themselves believing it is what they have to do.

    As Sarah says in her info sheet, page 3, about 'verbally sharing info' and 'back up in writing if requested'.

    I am adding to my Food and Drink Policy that if asked I can tell them what of the 14 allergens have been given in the child's food/drink.

    Anyway, you might write it on a notice board as part of a day's menu but the child doesn't like it and eats a bit of bread instead!
    So many cms are panicking and saying they are stopping providing food As you rightly say Moggy it's not necessary ... x

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    I do get what everyone is saying, but, for me, it's not a major hassle to make a list over the next few weeks so I am able to identify what allergens are in the food I provide.
    Personally, I'd prefer to be able to pull the recipe/ingredients list) out of a folder than have to scrabble around in a bin to find any packaging.

    I also shop on a week by week basis so may not have any relevant packaging in the cupboard for another 3 or 4 weeks lol (I work on a 4 week food rota)

    Obviously, any allergies in children are asked for when they start, but as pointed out, these can develop over time, and to be honest, I'm amazed at how many allergens I've found that I wasn't aware of! I'm actually finding it quite interesting (Am I really sad?!)

    I'm certainly not panicking over it - and I certainly won't be stopping food provision as a result of it

    I feel it's more about being aware of what's in our food, and that's not such a bad thing

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    I've seen the panic over supplying food and people saying they're going to get parents to provide packed lunches, but I think that could cause even more problems as you won't always know what is on the food. If you had a child with a nut allergy, for example, how would you know the food sent for the other children didn't contain nuts? I much prefer having control over any food consumed in my house.

    The only issue I have is that one of my mindees sometimes brings cakes that her granny has made. Obviously I don't know what's in them, so I don't feel I can feed them to the children ... and will have to eat them all myself

  29. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddleywinks View Post
    I do get what everyone is saying, but, for me, it's not a major hassle to make a list over the next few weeks so I am able to identify what allergens are in the food I provide.
    Personally, I'd prefer to be able to pull the recipe/ingredients list) out of a folder than have to scrabble around in a bin to find any packaging.

    I also shop on a week by week basis so may not have any relevant packaging in the cupboard for another 3 or 4 weeks lol (I work on a 4 week food rota)

    Obviously, any allergies in children are asked for when they start, but as pointed out, these can develop over time, and to be honest, I'm amazed at how many allergens I've found that I wasn't aware of! I'm actually finding it quite interesting (Am I really sad?!)


    I feel it's more about being aware of what's in our food, and that's not such a bad thing
    I see where you are coming from
    I'm certainly not panicking over it - and I certainly won't be stopping food provision as a result of it


    I think that cms panicking is really unhelpful and out of order but understandable...not seen this panic anywhere ...so where is it happening? facebook?

    There is a difference between the allergens listed in that HPE form and what children can ...actually ...be allergic to or have a sudden reaction over time to foods such as honey, kiwi, tomatoes and such like...these are not due to allergies but reactions which cause redness...usually in the cheeks which become as red as a traffic light

    Each child is different and despite parents providing us with food we cannot give it does not always work
    I have not heard of any cms giving up providing food because of this new regulation...lets digest it and provide basic wholesome meals with no addictives ...but that is not a solution itself

    I will be providing meals based on what each child needs are and not listing every gram of ingredient that may be possibly cause an allergy ...unless it has been diagnosed


    I also would like to see how schools, nurseries and preschool adjust to this as most provide just fruit or meals bought from an outside source

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