Kirklees Catering Service attains Allergen Accreditation

Over one-third of Kirklees schools received their Allergen Accreditation in September, with many more expected to attain their accreditation during the autumn term.

Our Schools Catering Team provides over 35,000 meals per day in 163 primary and secondary schools across the district, and approximately 900 of these meals are for students with medical dietary requirements. So that all pupils across the borough can safely access a healthy and nutritious lunch, the team use robust allergen management procedures and has developed a range of allergen-free menus.

What have the team done?

Knowing the importance of appropriate allergen management, we have worked with Allergen Accreditation since September 2020; since then, around 650 staff members have undergone industry-accredited classroom training for levels 2 and 3 in allergen management. The Allergen Accreditation certification for Kirklees schools is the next stage, with teams having their allergen management procedures verified against a validated framework.

Many schools in Kirklees are signed up to the Primary Allergen Authority Scheme (PAAS), with several lead senior managers now approved as Senior Allergen Advisors who are now capable of Allergen Accrediting any food business in the UK.

Councillor Elizabeth Reynolds, Cabinet Member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said:

“I am really proud that our School Catering Teams work hard to make sure that the meals they provide are fully compliant with Government School Food Standards and are developed to be fun whilst encouraging pupils to eat healthy, nutritious meals.

“We all know that medical dietary requirements should not mean that a child should miss out on the opportunity of a nutritious lunch with their peers, which is why it is fantastic that our teams are taking these steps to incorporate allergen awareness into their procedures and menus for the benefit of all our children.”

Julian Edwards, CEO at Allergen Accreditation, commented:

“Kirklees has a real culture of safe allergen management and truly understands the needs of regulation and best practice as well as the need for the safe management of special diets for hypersensitive customers. Not only is this prestigious award recognition for this great organisation, but it is also an endorsement for school Headteachers to use when communicating to parents and guardians that they do provide a safe place to eat and drink at lunch time!”