Columbia Schools Stay On Top Of Food Allergies

2 years 6 months 1 week ago November 14, 2013 Nov 14, 2013 Thursday, November 14 2013 Thursday, November 14, 2013 12:39:00 PM CST in News
By: Jordan Herr, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is giving schools around the nation tips for how to handle food allergies in students - and it's doing this for the first time ever.

The guidelines are voluntary, but were released in response to the rapidly growing number of kids with food allergies. According to the CDC, 4% to 6% of children have food allergies and nearly 88% of schools have at least one child with a food allergy.

Columbia Public School District employees have noticed an increase in the number of students with food allergies. The district sees, on average, 25 students a year with severe food allergies that require special attention and treatment.

"I think every year it just edges up. We get a few more allergies that are more closely defined. That's the other part of it, not only the fact that we are increasing the number of allergies, but also how narrowly defined the restrictions are," said Laina Fullum, the Columbia school's nutrition services director.

"We just know, anecdotally, that the number has increased because our workload has increased," said Fullum.

The CDC's list of guidelines includes how to train teachers and staff to use epinephrine injectors, how to identify students with food allergies and suggests planning school activities around or without common food allergens.

Fullum said that while she is sure the tips released by the CDC will be helpful for some schools, Columbia is already taking its own precautions.

"I think we're ahead of the game because we have two registered dieticians on staff who know exactly all of the allergens that are in every single food. We are organized, we update probably every six months. We have a chef who's working on allergy-free products that are more flavorful and interesting to children and we're also saving money in the long run. I think we are looking in the future far before the CDC has told us to do so," said Fullum.

Every school in the district has an allergy-free line in lunchrooms with fresh, clean foods that provide a healthy option for all students and avoids as many food allergens as possible.

Cafeterias are encouraged to have allergy-free zones where students with certain food allergies are able to eat safely, and lunch line cashiers are computer-alerted every time a student with a food allergy goes through the line. 

"The ladies at the cashiers have to really watch and make sure the kids don't have something harmful on their plates," said Shelly Lee, the Kitchen Manager at Mary Paxton Keeley Elementary School.

CPS administration requires all staff to be trained every year about anaphylactic shock and how to recognize allergic reactions. 

"I was nervous, being a first-time manager. I thought, oh no, because you're taking children's lives in your hands and if they eat the wrong thing, what could happen? Luckily since I've been here, we have not had any allergic reactions that we've had to deal with, but I know that if something were to happen, we'd have it under control," said Shelly.

Fullum said the most common food allergens the district sees include peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, strawberries, wheat, gluten, soy and corn. 

She said as the problem of food allergies continues to grow, more options for how schools can handle those allergies will be provided.

"We have to make sure the child is safe; that's our priority. We put a lot of investment in to each child that has a severe allergy. But I do see that more products will come out on the market that will be more advantageous to the student and districts."

Columbia Public Schools provides substitute meals and makes amendments to the lunch menu for all students with allergies that are appropriated on a physicians order.

To find out more about how the Columbia Public School District handles food allergies, click here.

 

More News

Grid
List
MID-MISSOURI - If you looked at the sky Thursday evening you might have noticed a few mysterious and ominous clouds... More >>
1 hour ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 8:16:00 PM CDT in Weather
COLUMBIA – Boone County Family Resources celebrated 40 years of service to people with developmental disabilities. Robyn Kaufman is... More >>
2 hours ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 7:11:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - You expect hospitals to be accredited and your school to be accredited, so why not public health?... More >>
2 hours ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 6:37:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Through a public records request, KOMU 8's Target 8 investigative team got ahold of more than 400 pages... More >>
2 hours ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 6:27:00 PM CDT in Target 8
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced on Thursday an underground cave is the home... More >>
3 hours ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 6:19:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Back in December 2015, KOMU 8 News got a tip about how the Columbia Goodwill Store off Grindstone... More >>
3 hours ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 5:37:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri Senate staffer has begun reviewing Planned Parenthood's internal records, including procedures for fetal tissue... More >>
4 hours ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 5:05:58 PM CDT in News
JOPLIN - On May 22, 2011, 1,308 pets who lost their homes in a matter of seconds when the Joplin... More >>
4 hours ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 4:41:57 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Window washers at MU Women's and Children's Hospital dressed as superheroes Thursday morning. Batman, Superman and Spiderman... More >>
5 hours ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 3:37:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) expects a lot more traffic to hit the roadways this Memorial... More >>
5 hours ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 3:35:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – With Memorial day just around the corner, people will be hearing from veterans charities. The Better Business Bureau... More >>
5 hours ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 3:30:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's Republican legislative leaders and more than 100 others say they oppose the Obama administration's directive... More >>
6 hours ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 3:19:55 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A former state lawmaker is suing over an associate University of Missouri law professor and attorney... More >>
6 hours ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 3:13:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County prosecuting attorney charged a man in the shooting deaths of two men last September. ... More >>
6 hours ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 3:02:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Two people received minor injuries after their car slid into a ditch early Thursday morning. The... More >>
7 hours ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 2:01:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis jury ordered Monsanto and three other companies to pay more than $46 million... More >>
7 hours ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 1:40:42 PM CDT in News
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Baylor University demoted school President Ken Starr and fired football coach Art Briles on Thursday, issuing... More >>
7 hours ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 1:36:00 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities are monitoring high water levels along the Current and Jacks Fork rivers in southwest Missouri to... More >>
9 hours ago May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016 Thursday, May 26 2016 Thursday, May 26, 2016 11:28:03 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 65°
10pm 70°
11pm 69°
12am 71°
1am 70°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

8:00p
Red Nose Day
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld
10:00p
Cougar Town

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Strong
8:00p
Red Nose Day
7:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
8:00p
The Flash
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld