Allergies

Pomptonian's Food Allergy Practices

The safety and well-being of the students we serve is our highest priority. As an allergy-aware kitchen, no meal is knowingly prepared on our equipment with any food that contains peanut/tree nut in the manufacturer’s list of ingredients. Students with food allergies, other than tree nuts and peanut, are encouraged to pre-order a meal.

The cafeteria staff prepares and cooks a wide variety of meals in the kitchen. To minimize the chance of cross-contact with the allergen, pre-ordered meals are prepared for students with documented allergies using ingredients that do not contain their known allergen in the manufacturer’s label. Please make sure there is a note from a Doctor of Medicine on file in the nurse’s office. 

Each month a parent/guardian should fill out the pre-order allergy menu order form and return it to the cafeteria by the due date indicated. Pre-ordered allergy meals will be prepared and packaged separately and labeled accordingly. Please let your child know to tell the food service worker that they have pre-ordered a meal and your child will receive their meal with their name on it. 

The staff that prepares the meals for students with special dietary needs receives ongoing training on food label reading, cross-contact procedures, and food allergies.  For more information on why our best practices for managing food allergies include pre-ordering lunch, please read, “Why Pre-Order?” For general information regarding food allergies please visit https://www.foodallergy.org/. If you need further assistance or require more information on menu items, we can put you in touch with our Corporate Dietitian, Toni Bowman, MBA, RDN, SNS, ServSafe Allergy Certified. 

We look forward to serving you.

Healthy regards,
Alex Rosenberg
Food Service Director
arosenberg@pomptonian.com
973-470-2330

Why Pre-Order?

In a restaurant there is a typical method for managing food allergies.

  1. A patron with a food allergy notifies the server.
  2. The server then notifies the chef. At that point the chef lets the server know what the patron can safely consume from the menu.
  3. When the chef prepares the meal, cross-contact procedures are put in place and ingredient labels are checked.
    In this example, the restaurant is able to notify the patron what is safe to eat and has the ability to put cross-contact procedures in place before the meal is prepared.

“Cross-contact happens when one food comes into contact with another food and their proteins mix. As a result, each food then contains trace amounts of the other food. These amounts are so small they usually can’t be seen. Even this small amount of food protein can cause reactions in people with food allergies.” (Food Allergy Research & Education)

Pre-ordering is important because manufacturers may change the formulation of their products and substitute ingredients at any time with or without notice. For more information on food allergens and product labels please visit:  https://www.foodallergy.org/resources/how-read-food-label

Our best practices for managing food allergies have been developed to be in line with the organization Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), the Center for Disease Control Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies In Schools and Early Care and Education Programs, the Institute of Child Nutrition, and the USDA Accommodating Children with Disabilities in School Meal Programs.

A cafeteria is not set up in the same way as a restaurant. By establishing a pre-order system our staff is aware of the allergy, checks all product labels, and uses cross-contact procedures to provide a safe environment for students with known food allergies.

We look forward to working with you. Please contact your Food Service Director if you have any questions.