South Ripley Elementary's Peanut and Nut Safe Guidelines
In order to maintain a safe environment for students with severe peanut allergies, school lunches and snacks must not contain peanuts. South Ripley Elementary makes every reasonable effort to purchase nut-free products for school lunches and events. Parents are asked to refrain from providing peanut products for lunches for their children. Classroom celebrations must also abide by our peanut and nut safe guidelines, as well as our healthy snack guidelines. Under no circumstances should nuts of any sort, or products containing nuts, be brought to school. In order to be inclusive and have access for all of our children, SRES cafeteria does not serve peanut butter sandwiches or peanut products and student lunches or snacks that contain peanuts cannot be brought into the school.
While we cannot absolutely ensure that our school will be 100% peanut free, we have drastically diminished the possibility of a child getting sick or going into anaphylactic reaction due to coming in contact with peanuts.
The rationale for peanut safe classrooms and schools has to do with the unique nature of peanut allergies. Most people with most food allergies (even severe allergies) can manage their allergies by simply not eating foods that have those allergens in them. There are two limits to this approach for people with peanut allergies.
First, it's possible for people with these allergies to react to traces of nut dust in the air (from peanut shells, for example). Second, nuts are full of natural oils that leave residue. While this residue can be removed with cleaning, it may be difficult to clean all surfaces which impact our students or for school cleaning staff to know to clean oils off of painted walls or doorknobs during the school day.
Here are some rules of thumb for reading labels:
- Under federal law, peanuts have to be clearly identified in a food label if they're used as an ingredient.
- Always check labels on packaged foods. Look for warnings like "may include traces of peanuts.” Package notices to the effect of "made in a nut-free facility" indicate safe snacks. Attached is a list of peanut free snack and lunch ideas that your child may bring into the school.
We are very hopeful that through our classroom activities and discussions at home about peanut allergies; children will understand the importance of being peanut safe. This is an opportunity for our children to learn more about special needs of others and their role in supporting one another.