Nut Policy and Information
Brookdale is committed to the safety and well-being of all of our students, staff and visitors. As with all schools we have members of our community with many allergies, including peanuts and tree nuts. We ask that you don’t send your child to school with food that contains these products to help us minimize the risks for all of our students. This includes birthday celebrations and special occasions. Please help us in this respect. If you feel your child wants to share their special day with classmates please contact the office to see what would be accepted.
What is Nut-Free?
For some people, the term nut-free is a source of aggravation and annoyance, because peanut butter is almost universally a favourite food among young children. The unfortunate reality is that nuts can pose a life-threatening risk for people with severe nut allergies. Once aware of the serious consequences, most people are very willing to keep food-related social and school activities safe. Many people want to help reduce nut allergens in social situations, but are not sure how to go about doing this. The two questions most commonly asked are: What does nut-free mean? and What is cross-contamination?
What does nut-free mean? It means that food does not contain nuts, nut butter of any sort, nut oil, nor any form nut derivative at all. It must not contain traces of nut. Even if the label says "may contain traces of nut", treat this label as if it says "contains nuts". Buying a nut-free food or snack from the store means buying packaged food with ingredient labelling. If it does not have ingredient labelling (such as bulk bin products, or in-store baked goods), do not bring it into a setting that is trying to minimize nut-containing products.
What is cross-contamination? Cross-contamination occurs when a safe food comes in contact with a food allergen such as nuts. For those with severe food allergies, eating even the slightest trace of an allergic food can cause a potentially life-threatening reaction. Reactions can occur in several ways. The allergic person could:
- eat a nut product
- eat a food that was not supposed to contain a nut but had been contaminated with nuts. (This can occur with an unintended ingredient or from being in contact with nuts during preparation, storage, or serving).
- touch something with traces of nut (e.g. a chair or table touched by someone who ate a nut product and left a smear or trace of nuts), and then put their hands in their mouth or touched their eyes.
More and more these days, in our schools, social groups and community clubs, requests are being made for people to bring nut-free snacks. The prevalence of food allergies appears to be increasing. For this reason, people are asked to bring nut-free treats to reduce the very real risk of cross-contamination and thus reduce the risk of a severe allergic reaction.