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 Post subject: International Day
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:04 am
Posts: 101
This year my son's school is launching World Passport Day. It's their first ever but already they are planning kiosks with "exotic meals". I'm trying to beat the planning committee to it and am quoting Health Canada about dangers of "ethnic foods"
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/securit/al ... ex-eng.php
Ethnic foods (including sauces and soups), e.g., chili, curries, egg rolls, satays, Szechwan sauce, Thai food
Main course dishes, e.g., almond chicken, Asian food such as pad thai and satay, chili, trout amandine
Ethnic foods, e.g., flavoured rice, noodles, shish kebabs, stews, stir fry
The government's wording not mine! I am trying to point out that there is no way the parents can guarantee ingredients especially if they are getting items from their favourite restaurants.
I'm pointing out that even if the kids don't consume - the food is beside and cross contaminated with everything else enjoyable in the stall.
Plus they are asking for parent involvement - food servers?! - how would that work if they don't even know which kids carry epipens? There I foresee some big label needing to be stuck on a bunch of children.

Please help - am I covering all the salient points? It's only in the planning phases so I must work quickly. I'm hoping they can just show pictures of the food. What else can I quote?

_________________
myself: seasonal allergies, chemical sensitivities
son 2007: allergic to sesame and raw eggs
daughter 2009: no allergies
daughter 2011: severe eczema, no allergies


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 Post subject: Re: International Day
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2943
Location: Toronto
You'll likely find it works best if you approach in a positive (but still firm) manner. On the one hand, it is great to open kids' eyes to other parts of the world, and other cultures.

From traditional dress, music to travel videos, there are loads of ways to do that that don't involve food.

When it comes to the question of food:
Does the school have a detailed anaphylaxis plan? Do the staff really believe they can keep foods within the scope of it (if so, they should review with allergy parents).

Perhaps there could be open discussion that keeps a good idea, but moves swiftly to avoid creating unexpected risks with the food element to "international day".

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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 Post subject: Re: International Day
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:04 am
Posts: 101
Ok here's my letter that has just gone to the school - stay tuned to hear what the reply is! We think it could be a fun day - it's just a bit messy right now with the food issue- though it is only in the planning phases. (I'm putting the rough translation in italics).

Je vous remercie beaucoup pour votre lettre concernant la Journée Passeport. Nous sommes certains que cet événement sera très agréable pour tous.
Thank you very much for your letter about Passport Day. We are certain that this event will be very enjoyable for all.

Le but de notre lettre est de mettre en évidence les risques potentiels associés aux aliments exotiques lors de la Journée Passeport. Santé Canada a émis des avertissements sur les aliments exotiques car ils constituent des sources potentielles d'arachides, de noix et de sésame :
The goal of this letter is to bring forward the potential risks associated with exotic foods. Health Canada warns of the risks of exotic foods as potential sources of peanuts, tree nuts and sesame...

Les aliments et les produits qui contiennent des arachides ou qui en contiennent souvent :
• Mets ethniques, par exemple les satays, la cuisine thaïlandaise (par exemple, caris) et vietnamienne (par exemple, arachides broyées en garniture, rouleaux de printemps) ou chinoise (par exemple, sauce sichuanaise, rouleaux impériaux)
Aliments et produits qui contiennent des noix ou qui en contiennent souvent :
• Mets tels que le poulet aux amandes, pad thaï, satay, chili et truite amandine
Aliments et produits qui contiennent des graines de sésame ou qui en contiennent souvent :
• Aliments ethniques, par exemple riz aromatisés, nouilles, chiche-kebab, ragoûts et sautés

Nous tenons à mettre en évidence les problèmes suivants avec le plan décrit dans votre lettre
We are bringing forward the following problems associated with the plan described in your letter.

- Beaucoup d'étudiants ne seront pas en mesure de participer à cet événement en raison du risque d'anaphylaxie. Les enfants ne peuvent pas être en contact avec tous les éléments des kiosques en raison du risque de contamination croisée si la nourriture est servie à même ces kiosques

Many children can not participate in this event due to the anaphylacic risk. The children cannot be in contact with everything at the stalls due to cross contamination if food is also there.
- Il est très difficile (presque impossible) que les parents peuvent garantir que l'aliment est salubre, étant donné que de nombreux produits alimentaires ethniques ne peuvent pas être facilement identifiés à partir d'une source connue. Certains parents peuvent acheter leurs plats préférés ethniques fait d’avance qui pose une autre couche de risque en raison des ingrédients inconnus.
It is very difficult that the parents can guarantee safe food due to the difficulty in identifying the ingredients particularly if they are from unknown sources. Some parents will buy their favourite ethnics food mad in advance which adds another layer of risk.

- Si les parents bénévoles servent la nourriture, ils ne sont pas familiers avec les étudiants de l’école et n'auront aucun moyen d'identifier les élèves allergiques
If volunteers are serving the food, they are not familiar with the students and do not have a means of identifying the allergic students.
Nous croyons que le même plaisir et le message peuvent être réalisé pour cet événement à travers la musique, la danse, les dessins, etc, sans l'aspect alimentaire de l'événement.
We believe the same enjoyment can be had through music, dance, pictures etc. without the food element at this event

1)Sante Canada. (2012-10-26). http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/securit/al ... ex-fra.php

_________________
myself: seasonal allergies, chemical sensitivities
son 2007: allergic to sesame and raw eggs
daughter 2009: no allergies
daughter 2011: severe eczema, no allergies


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:04 am
Posts: 101
Just posting the latest food saga as the letters might start coming home now from various schools.

I believe our letter is coming from the PTA. Parents are to premake pancakes and send them to school. "We ask that everyone is vigilant in their preparation of the recipe in the manner indicated to avoid risks of allergies".

It is an unclear statement as following the recipe means adding eggs milk, etc. So I am deducing they mean nuts but don't realize they are leaving the instructions loose...we're not eating them anyways but I think there is still an opportunity for education.

The bigger problem comes into play in that it seems like lots of peanut/tree nut allergy parents allow their kids to eat everything without questioning and assuming they are safe under the no nut policy of schools. In the pancake instructions, there is no mention to other parents to avoid bulk items e.g. flour when making the pancakes to the dozens of parents that will be cooking.

And so I begin my latest letter - thank you Health Canada for always having the wording I need -
"Be very careful about bulk foods that may not carry a label or that have cross-contamination."
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/fo ... rg-eng.php


(I just had a birthday party and kept all the food boxes out for inquiries - however not one of the 4 nut epipen allergy kids' parents questioned me on any item - and my child doesn't have nut allergies which could hypothetically mean I can make an honest slip up - which makes me realize that sometimes different existence of only peanut/treenut allergies)

_________________
myself: seasonal allergies, chemical sensitivities
son 2007: allergic to sesame and raw eggs
daughter 2009: no allergies
daughter 2011: severe eczema, no allergies


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 Post subject: Re: International Day
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6456
Location: Ottawa
What they are proposing with these kiosks is not a very good idea! So much can be done without food! They are causing a great deal of additional expense (cost of food, time and energy to prepare it and additional custodial work in cleaning up)

Beyond thaty, They are putting your child at risk. What plans do THEY have to reduce the risk of exposure? How is he supposed to participate? If it's OK for him to sit this out, it's OK for everyone to sit this out!

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Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject: Re: International Day
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6456
Location: Ottawa
This is what I think of, when I think of Passport Day!
Image

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject: Re: International Day
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2943
Location: Toronto
That's funny, Susan.

This isn't:
Quote:
"We ask that everyone is vigilant in their preparation of the recipe in the manner indicated to avoid risks of allergies".


Eek, that's as clear as mud. For the allergic kids, I guess it's going to be Passport to Wipes Day. Good on you trying to advocate on this one, Ginger. I hope you get some more accomms. before the big day.

As to the parents with nut-allergic kids not checking ingreds, that's scary. Does anyone else run into this? I've encountered the odd parent like this, but 4 of them? holy cow.

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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 Post subject: Re: International Day
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 687
Location: Cobourg, ON
At our school, I have run into several parents of nut allergic children who are not very concerned about treats being served to their kids at school. One parent recently told the teacher that the doctor told her that her child would likely only react after every 4th exposure to peanuts. This is her understanding of the allergy. They aren't too concerned about a reaction. This child also has out of control asthma. He uses his blue puffer regularly at school.

It's hard when parents do not fully understand their child's condition. It also sends mixed messages to the school staff. They start to think that maybe some allergies are not so severe.

_________________
13 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, tree nuts and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
10 year old son - no allergies


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 Post subject: Re: International Day
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2943
Location: Toronto
If there's enough of this around, maybe AL mag should do a story on.

Hope this doesn't seem off thread. Kind of a sub category of what Ginger's dealing with.

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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 Post subject: Re: International Day
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 am
Posts: 641
Location: AB, Canada
Passport day sounds awful. I'm seriously considering keeping my kids home during future food events, they are being more closely monitored but are VERY stressed out by it. Might be better to have a fun day together (of course, that wouldn't change cross contamination issues going back the next day if there is satay sauce being served during your event!)

I have met many parents who say their kids are allergic, but don't provide the school with epipens, the kids don't wear bracelets and they are allowed to eat baked goods etc from random sources. I have had many discussions with teachers trying to stress that there are no 'mild' peanut allergies. Just because a child 'only' developed a few times, does not mean s/he will not have a major anaphylactic reaction on the next exposure. It just makes me sound crazy and overprotective of my kids.

I don't know if other parents operate this way out of a lack of understanding, or some laziness. I heard of one recently who was 'deeply concerned' about an upcoming food event, but 'didn't want to say anything to the teacher'.

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DSs 7,7,9 all PA


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 Post subject: Re: International Day
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 924
Location: Oakville, Ontario
This is a highly risky "celebration", and not worth the risk. International Day should no longer include food. As part of the allergic community, we must continue to educate (we all do!), and ensure children can safely attend school. For those that are able, attendance at these events is so important - for their own children, and for the others who may be unaware of the risk. And, as much as we can, we must lobby for the safety of all students at school by eliminating all food-related events. They are not necessary and unsafe for the community.

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, green peas, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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