U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth have introduced a federal bill that would require school nutrition staff to complete food allergy training.
If passed, the Protecting Children with Food Allergies Act would require National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program personnel to undergo food allergy training. Currently, such training is offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) but is not mandatory.
In addition, the bill would compel FNS to make food allergy trainings available to nutrition personnel under the Special Milk Program, Summer Food Service Program and Child and Adult Care Food Program. FNS would also have to create and include food allergy information in its nutrition education material for participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, commonly known as WIC.
More than 15% of children with food allergies have an allergic reaction while at school, according to the USDA.
There are nine major food allergens recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, including sesame, which joined the list at the start of this year.