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Allergen guidance for institutional caterers

Guidance on allergens for caterers in schools, hospitals and care homes.

When food is provided by institutions, it is their responsibility to protect the individuals in their care. For these people to be safe, pre-existing food allergies or intolerances should be made known and processes in place to ensure they can obtain safe food options. This is particularly important if the individual is unable or need help to make safe food choices for themselves.

Staff handling food must also be aware of:

Care homes

In care homes there will be a ‘care record’ outlining the resident’s dietary needs. There must be a process in place to ensure dietary needs on the care record are communicated to those serving the food.


In schools, kitchen staff will need to be able to easily identify those with specific dietary requirements.

Practices to identify children with dietary needs could be as simple as:

  • coloured wrist bands
  • a photograph of the child alongside details of their allergy in the kitchen or serving area

More information and training for caterers in schools can be found on AllergyWise for Schools course from Anaphylaxis Campaign

Posters and materials for schools

Primary school

England, Northern Ireland and Wales

England, Northern Ireland and Wales

Secondary school

England, Northern Ireland and Wales