Food Standards Agency advice
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  1. #1
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    Default Food Standards Agency advice

    This has been copied from our Independent Childminders Facebook group - on the group it has the FSA logo so we know that the advice comes directly from them


    Are you a childminder who is worried about the new rules around allergen information, that beds in, in December?

    The good news is that childminders are probably already doing a large majority of what is required of them in the new EU Food Information Regulation!

    As a childminder, you will need to make available information about any of the 14 major allergens used as ingredients in the food/meals you provide.

    This means, if you are asked, you will need to collect and be able to report allergen ingredients information to demonstrate how you make food choices on behalf of the child you care for and to provide information for their parents.

    Please note that full ingredients lists are NOT required.

    The information you need to provide can be collected as a scrap book or a set of labels; by sharing the recipe of the meal, or filling in a simple allergen menu matrix such as we have provided in Resources for allergen information | food.gov.uk

    You can also find more info on our website atwww.food.gov.uk/business-industry/caterers/startingup/childminders Hope this helps.

    Please pass the word around and let us know if you have any questions.

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarah707 View Post
    This has been copied from our Independent Childminders Facebook group - on the group it has the FSA logo so we know that the advice comes directly from them


    Are you a childminder who is worried about the new rules around allergen information, that beds in, in December?

    The good news is that childminders are probably already doing a large majority of what is required of them in the new EU Food Information Regulation!

    As a childminder, you will need to make available information about any of the 14 major allergens used as ingredients in the food/meals you provide.

    This means, if you are asked, you will need to collect and be able to report allergen ingredients information to demonstrate how you make food choices on behalf of the child you care for and to provide information for their parents.

    Please note that full ingredients lists are NOT required.

    The information you need to provide can be collected as a scrap book or a set of labels; by sharing the recipe of the meal, or filling in a simple allergen menu matrix such as we have provided in Resources for allergen information | food.gov.uk

    You can also find more info on our website atwww.food.gov.uk/business-industry/caterers/startingup/childminders Hope this helps.

    Please pass the word around and let us know if you have any questions.
    Thanks for that. The crucial line, I think, is IF YOU ARE ASKED.

    We do not need to be routinely producing this info. Only IF ASKED- and I bet we would do that now and any time in the past too, if a concerned parent said 'Johnny has had a reaction to something, what did he eat last night?', we would check labels, write a list etc.

    We now have a list of these 14 particular allergens they mention BUT there are loads of other things children can be allergic to- strawberries and pear I have come across. So, we still need to be aware of everything the children are eating even beyond this list, as we always have been.

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  5. #3
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    I'd be cautious with the emphasis on "only if asked". CMs are pretty much unique as food businesses. A lot of our 'customers' have absolutely no way of asking for allergen information as we spoon food into their little mouths. When we've put a 12 month old into anaphylaxic shock, it will not be good enough to say "well the silly s0d should've said something."

    The key is to provide information to, and obtain information from parents at the point of entry to our settings. List all the 14 allergens in your food policy. Point out that the limitations of a domestic kitchen makes cross-contamination virtually unavoidable. Make sure parents put any food allergies/sensitivities in writing (together with the different names for the allergen) and agree a food management plan with them.

  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    I'd be cautious with the emphasis on "only if asked". CMs are pretty much unique as food businesses. A lot of our 'customers' have absolutely no way of asking for allergen information as we spoon food into their little mouths. When we've put a 12 month old into anaphylaxic shock, it will not be good enough to say "well the silly s0d should've said something."

    The key is to provide information to, and obtain information from parents at the point of entry to our settings. List all the 14 allergens in your food policy. Point out that the limitations of a domestic kitchen makes cross-contamination virtually unavoidable. Make sure parents put any food allergies/sensitivities in writing (together with the different names for the allergen) and agree a food management plan with them.
    Yes, of course following the food restrictions of the children is what we always do, have done and will continue to do. That is a requirement of the EYFS 2014 (section 3.47) and any Child Record Form should cover it. Nothing new.

    And if we 'put a 12 month old into anaphylaxic shock' because it is the first time the child has ever reacted to an allergen, then listing the allergens in tonight dinner would not have helped. If the allergy was known to the parents and they hadn't told us then we are breaking Statutory Framework EYFS 3.47, above any allergens guideline. If it was known to us and we still fed it to child then ditto- EYFS 3.47.

    Yes, the new Allergens rule is good because labelling on products is getting better and labelling in cafe's etc where we might take children is getting better and general awareness should be rising. But we are already doing pretty much what this new Allergens thing says- it is in the EYFS.

    I just feel so annoyed if any CM is scared of offering food any more; or spends hours trying to write down every allergen in every meal they ever make; or think that these are the only 14 allergen out there when actually children can be allergic to many other things... (all concerns I have read about online)

    My Food & Drink policy is updated and signed by parents listing the allergens and referring to the new Allergens rules; parents have been updated in my newsletter too; I have completed the FSA Allergens online training and certificate is in my portfolio; the FSA poster of allergens is in my portfolio. I adhere to EYFS 3.74. I am ready to inform anyone IF ASKED what was in their food (by referring to packet labels, my knowledge of what I cook and from info I would source from any where outside my setting we might have eaten at like a cafe). My Child Record Form is unchanged.

    I am yet to be convinced I need to do anything else... but open to any suggestions!

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  8. #5
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    Moggy, here's the excerpt from my policy, if you'd like to compare notes, though tbh it sounds very much like you have it covered.

    Allergen information
    The following allergens may be present in any meal or snack provided:-
    • Gluten
    • Crustceans
    • Molluscs
    • Eggs
    • Fish
    • Peanuts
    • Nuts
    • Soya
    • Milk
    • Celery
    • Mustard
    • Sesame
    • Lupin
    • Sulphur dioxide
    • Derivatives of any of the above
    Food is prepared in our own domestic kitchen, and it is not possible to guarantee against cross-contamination of allergens (listed above) with other foods. Parents must inform me if their child has an allergy or sensitivity to any food. An appropriate food management plan will be discussed and agreed where practicable.
    If a parent wishes to send food with their child (e.g. packed lunch, birthday cake) they must consult with me first and be prepared to provide a list of ingredients. This is because, as a registered food business, I am held responsible for any food offered to any child on the premises. Also, some children may be allergic to foods to a high degree of sensitivity, such that they will suffer a reaction by merely being in the same room as an allergen.

    I updated my food & drink policy to coincide with the 'new improved' EYFS 2014, and decided I might as well ensure compliance early for the December changes with regard to allergens. I'm lazy enough to figure I could do 2 jobs at once and save time later.

    I had some less than useless "guidance and advice" from my DO, so decided to go straight to the horse's mouth and phoned the local EHO, read them my policy and talked through my food management plan. They said it was fine. I'd written so little that I had expected EHO to say I'd have to add a lot more, so it's probably less demanding and daunting than a lot of people think.

    They also said they'd had similar calls from a couple of CMs and quite a few nurseries. The EHO's general impression was that if those calls reflected all childcare settings, then we're actually far better prepared than a lot of businesses which have food as their core product/service.

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  10. #6
    Simona Guest

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    Just out of curiosity...has any LA sent CMs ...and other providers...information regarding this new change?

  11. #7
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    Nothing in Hampshire- unless I've missed something......

  12. #8
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    None here. suffolk.

  13. #9
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    thanks everyone, great advise and info here

  14. #10
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    No nothing from ours Simona. I think we will probably get something through around November though as they are usually on the ball to update us.

  15. #11
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    Default

    I have written a new blog about the food allergy law changes - including advice for those cms who have decided not to offer food any more.

    I hope you find it useful!

    Sarah's Blog: Childminders and food allergy legislation

  16. #12
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    Nothing in Milton Keynes either!

 

 

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