CDC sets food allergy guidelines - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

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CDC sets food allergy guidelines

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

There are 8 foods that cause nearly 90% of all allergic reactions in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have set some guidelines so children have less food allergy problems at school. We're on your side with how local schools handle food allergens.

Milk, eggs, and peanuts. These are some of the most commons food allergens across the United States. The CDC said schools should train staff to use injecting devices like epi-pens, and use non-food incentives for prizes during the school day. Local schools say many of these guidelines are already in place.

Allergic reactions can be life threatening, and with almost 6% of the school aged population facing food allergies, local schools take precautions to make sure students are safe.

"Every time that child comes through the line for breakfast and lunch, that school cafeteria manager must know what that child's allergies are," said Brindlea Griffin, Director of Child Nutrition for Phenix City Schools.

At Hardaway High School and other schools around Muscogee County, they are notified about allergies at the beginning of the school year, and there are systems in place to prevent students from getting food they are allergic to.

"When it pops up on the screen, when the cafeteria manager rings up the child. It'll pop up with an alert saying this child has a food allergy and to see the manager," said Karen Davis.

The CDC said schools should train staff to use injecting devices like epi-pens and make sure children who use their own injectors can get to them quickly. In Muscogee County, Karen Davis, Food Nutrition Specialist, said each nurse gets epi-pen training and is prepared in the event of an emergency. In the classroom, they also have measures to prevent allergic reactions.

"Teachers work well with us when the kids have food allergies. They are really good about working with us and the manager and the nurse together to make sure this child is not consuming any products they shouldn't be," said Davis.

Davis said if students are extremely allergic to foods, like peanut butter, they can make the entire school peanut free or create areas where students with allergies can sit so they don't have any contact with the food.

To view the CDC recommendations you can visit http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/foodallergies/pdf/13_243135_A_Food_Allergy_Web_508.pdf.

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