Bill approved to ban dangerous allergens in schools

Schools will have to adapt their environment to food-sensitive students and food in educational institutions must be free of products that contain or may contain allergy-causing foods such as nuts.

May 27, 2018 21:26
1 minute read.
BAMBA, Israel’s beloved peanut snack

BAMBA, Israel’s beloved peanut snack. (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/NSAUM75)


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All educational institutions will be made free of major allergens such as peanuts and nuts and required to adapt themselves to food-sensitive youngsters, according to a bill initially approved on Sunday by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation.

The private members bill was initiated by Shas MK Ya’akov Margi, chairman of the Knesset Education, Culture and Sports Committee, and Kulanu MK Yifat Shasha-Biton, chairman of the Children’s Rights Committee.

The bill states that schools will have to adapt their environment to food-sensitive students and that food in educational institutions must be free of products that contain or may contain allergy-causing foods such as peanuts and nuts.

If there are children with allergies in an educational institution, it has the duty to ensure that they can study in a clean environment while maintaining their social needs.

The more acute the allergy, the more the school, kindergarten or nursery will have to take all the necessary measures to prepare for it, and must post signs and guide the parents and children. In addition, food suppliers to the institutions, including caterers, kiosks and vending machines, will not be allowed to sell food with the allergens. A supplier who does not comply with the provisions of the law will be subject to financial sanctions.

Only last week, it was decided that all educational institutions must have Epipens – epinephrine syringes – to give lifesaving injections to prevent anaphylactic shock in those exposed to serious allergens of all kinds.

Odelia Albo, chairman of Yahel – the Israel Food Allergies Association, and a partner in the legislative process, said: “I thank MK Margi for having realized that changing the rights law of pupils would be the right way to obligate the system to address children’s health issues, including food allergies.”

Shasha-Biton added: “There is no doubt that this is an exceptional challenge for all of us. But we must remember that allergic children are entitled to full integration in all educational frameworks. The bill proposed by MK Margi and myself is an inseparable part of a series of steps that must be taken and of the process in which many of us participate.

“This is an important bill that we hope will be the first step in making the lives of allergic children safer in educational institutions,” she said.

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