Food Allergy Policy and Education Requirements and Guidance

Ohio’s strategic plan for education, Each Child, Our Future, and Ohio’s Whole Child Framework recognize each child is unique and has basic needs, including health and nutrition, that must be met to enable learning. When students have medical conditions that affect their health and nutrition, such as food-based allergies, a collaborative approach involving families, schools and the community is vital for student success. 

State law requires districts to have a written policy with respect to protecting students with peanut and other food allergies, encourages districts to train school personnel and age-appropriate students on supporting students with food allergies and outlines requirements regarding the procurement, distribution and training for the distribution of glucagon to support students with diabetes. This webpage outlines new or amended requirements in Ohio law that support students with food allergies and links to resources supporting students with diabetes.

 

Policy to Support Students with Food Allergies

In July 2009, Ohio law required the board of education of each city, local, exempted village and joint vocational school district and the governing authority of each chartered nonpublic school to establish a written policy with respect to protecting students with food allergies. The policy must be developed in consultation with parents, school nurses and other school employees, school volunteers, students and community members.

 

Training to Support Students with Food Allergies 

In April 2021Ohio law was amended to specify that each board of education may create training for all staff members and age-appropriate instruction for students in grades kindergarten through 12 on food allergies and ways in which to assist an individual experiencing an allergic reaction. If a board of education board chooses to provide training to staff and students, the training may include:  

  • Instruction in food allergies;  
  • Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis;  
  • Prevention of allergic reactions;  
  • Management and administration of epinephrine; and  
  • Follow-up and reporting procedures.  
Training completed qualifies as a professionaldevelopment activity for the renewal of educator licenses, in addition to activities approved by localprofessional development committees.
 

Current food allergy training resources include the following:  

Allison Rose Foundation: Resources and training curriculum. This curriculum is designed for a coordinated education effort between first responders and schools, targeting middle school and high school students. 
 
Code Ana: School preparedness training regarding anaphylaxis prevention and response and guidance for schools in development and deployment of school emergency plans. 
 
Food Allergies in School Nutrition Programs-Avoiding Cross-Contact (Institute of Child Nutrition): Training resources for avoiding cross contamination of food with potential allergens. 
 
The Ohio Department of Education will continue posting food allergy education opportunities. Check this page frequently for updates. 


Food Allergy Resources for Schools

The following resources assist school staff with food allergy policy development, implementation and evaluation to support students with food-based allergies.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Food Allergies in Schools Toolkit (CDC): Resources and intervention strategies to control and prevent food allergy reactions. 

Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE): Resources and care plans for food allergy and anaphylaxis. (Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan)(Food Allergy 101

National Association for School Nurses: Allergy Forms, Policies & Checklists (NASN): Allergy resources for school nurses. 

Sample School Food Allergy Policy: A sample food allergy policy from the State of Rhode Island. 

Section 504, Title II and Ensuring Protection of K-12 Students with Severe Allergies (Institute of Child Nutrition): Resource and best practice for schools to facilitate written 504 plan development. 
 

Federal School Meal Accommodation Requirements For Child Nutrition Programs

School food authorities participating in the National School Lunch Program must make reasonable accommodations available to students with certain conditions referenced in the U.S. Department of Agriculture guidance. School professionals may reference the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Accommodating Children with Special Dietary Needs in the School Nutrition Programs Guidance for School Food Service Professionals.  

School food allergy policies may not alter the process of accommodating children with special dietary needs through the School Nutrition Programs as prescribed by the United States Department of Agriculture in the guidance.


Supporting Students with Diabetes in Schools with Glucagon Resources

To support students with diabetes, Ohio law states the board of education of each city, local, exempted village or joint vocational school district may procure injectable or nasally administered glucagon for each school operated by the district to have on the school premises for use in emergency situations. Formore information aboutglucagon procurement and provision, visit the Ohio Department of Education’s Student Health and Medication Supports webpage.  


General Student Medication Guidance and Resources

Ohio Department of Health: Authorization for Student Possession and Use of an Epinephrine Autoinjector Form 

Ohio Department of Health: Authorization for Student Possession and Use of an Asthma Inhaler Form

For a list of free and reduced-price epinephrine resources visit the Student Health and Medication Supports webpage. If you have questions or need more information about food allergy resources, contact the Office of Integrated Student Supports at 1-800-808-6325 or email child.nutrition@education.ohio.gov.

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Last Modified: 4/12/2021 3:13:12 PM