With rising incidences of food allergen intolerances and sensitivities amongst young people, it is necessary for us to have robust procedures in place to ensure that pupils with these needs can be catered for safely.
As part of our partnership ethos, we see this as a collaborative process and we wish to work with you to develop medical diets suitable for each individual child's needs.
Following the introduction of our Medical Diet Process last year, we have reviewed our policy and procedures and taken into consideration feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, including schools and parents. With this in mind, we've made some changes that we hope will help streamline and improve the process for you.
The main stages of Impact Food Group's Medical Diet Process are outlined below:
1. Completion of the Allergen Declaration and Medical Diet request
The first significant change is that we have recently added an allergen declaration and an allergen medical diet request form to our existing online ordering system. The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) have been integral in the development of this new online form. Before you are able to order any food you will be prompted to complete the food allergen declaration form.
If you indicate that your child has food allergens or food intolerances, then you must complete the medical diet request form for your child before you can order any food.
Within the form we ask that parents/ carers upload supplementary evidence for any children requiring a medical diet as described in points a and b below:
a) Provision of medical evidence
We request this to ensure that we have accurate food allergen, intolerance and sensitivity information. We will accept any medical evidence, examples may include a diagnosis or letter (including appointment letters) from a consultant, nutritionist, dietitian, GP or nurse. We will also accept any allergen test results or a printed medical request form with a stamp from your medical practice (template included).
Please note, this evidence can be from any time and there is no requirement to update it annually.
b) Colour Photograph
The purpose of the photograph is to ensure that catering staff are able to identify the child and are able to provide them with the correct foods during service.
Please note that the Medical diet request will not be accepted until you have uploaded the 2 pieces of additional information and evidence as described above.
2. Receipt of Medical Diet request
Upon receipt of the completed medical diet form, medical evidence and photograph, the information with be shared on a secure platform with our Operations Manager, who will make arrangements to contact the parent/carer within 5 working days.
3. Provision of Medical Menu
A medical menu will be provided to you by our Operations and Support team. The medical menu will be devised using the current menu cycle and relevant allergen matrices at the school.
The medical menu will normally be sent to you via email. If you do not have email or access to the internet, then we hope to be able to provide a copy through the school.
4. Review and agreement
We ask that you review the medical menu and, once satisfied, to sign and date and return to the Operations Manager via email or return to the Catering Manager.
The date for the implementation of the medical diet will be advised to parents and carers in advance. We will strive to put any medical diet in place as soon as practically possible and aim to have this completed within 2 weeks of the initial contact between our Operations and Support team and the parent/carer.
6. Menu Review
Upon notification of any changes to a child's food allergens throughout the year, we will review the medical menu in place in line with the stages listed above.
IFG will conduct an annual review of the allergen information that we hold. We will request confirmation that the allergen information we hold is still relevant from all parents/carers over the Summer holidays so we are able to continue providing medical menus at the start of each school year.
There may be occasions where a meeting between you, the Catering Manager and the Operations Manager will be deemed necessary before agreeing the provision of any food. Where this is the case, it will be advised during the initial phone call from the Operations team.
Please be assured that any and all personal information supplied to Impact Food Group will be held in accordance with current GDPR legislation.
I hope that you find our new procedures straight forward and we ask for your support in helping us to ensure that the process is followed and we receive the information we need to create a medical diet.