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Guide for schools

Download a copy of our guide for schools (PDF) [343KB]

We work in collaboration with your school, the pupil and the parent or guardian, ensuring an open flow of communication throughout the whole process.

The below contains information on the procedure to follow upon a dietary request. Unless the following procedure is carried out, we cannot take liability for any potential allergic cross contamination.

  1. Upon being informed of a pupil with an allergen, intolerance or dietary requirement, the school must provide the parent or guardian with the 'special diets' form. This is to be completed and returned, alongside supporting correspondence from a doctor or dietician and a recent photo of the pupil.
  2. All documents are then to be emailed over to schoolcatering@gateshead.gov.uk.
  3. A meeting will then be arranged by Gateshead School Catering, ensuring the school representative, the parent or guardian, the Unit Manager and Area Supervisor are in attendance. Due to the severity of some special dietary requirements, the Area Supervisor must be present at the meeting.
  4. The current menu will be discussed in the meeting, offering alternatives where necessary. Once the alternate menu has been agreed,it must be signed by all parties. The parent or guardian, the school and Unit Manager will be issued with the menu. The Unit Manager will display the menu in the kitchen, alongside the photograph of the pupil and the special diet form.
  5. The next meeting date will be in line with the annual menu change, ready for the academic year ahead.

Special diet form

Download a copy of our special diet form (Word doc) [14KB] , which should be completed and returned to schoolcatering@gateshead.gov.uk.

Warnings

Manufacturers use 'May Contain' warnings on their product labels to warn consumers of a risk of cross contamination during production stage of an unwanted allergen in the final product. It is our policy to treat such warnings as 'Contain' to reduce the risk to our special diet pupils.

Any special diet menu will remove products with the 'May Contain' declaration from the appropriate allergen.

Some gluten free, milk free and egg free equivalent ingredients or dish components are dependent on supplier availability.

Where every special diet request will be considered, there may be rare occasions where Gateshead School Catering may have to reject the request based on safety concerns for the pupil, such as, a high volume of allergies.

Please note, there is a maximum three-week turnaround once the initial email has been received. Whilst waiting for the bespoke menu, the pupil can be provided with a suitable jacket potato or alternatively, a packed lunch is to be brought from home.

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