Food allergens and nannies
As of December last year businesses providing food, which includes childcare providers, have to give information about the allergens in the food they provide. This applies not only to home-made food but also pre-prepared food bought and served when out and about. In practice children are unable to make their own decisions about avoiding allergens so it’s important to communicate with parents about foods to avoid, what you will be serving, and when their children have consumed allergens.
The legislation applies to 14 allergens:
- Celery (this includes celeriac)
- Cereals which contain gluten such as wheat, rye and barley
- Crustaceans (eg crab, lobster and prawns)
- Lupin beans/seeds
- Molluscs (shellfish, snails, squid etc)
- Nuts eg almonds, Brazil nuts, cashew, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecan nuts or pistachio
- Sulphur dioxide/sulphites (a type of preservative) above 10mg/kilo or litre.
Nannies tend to cook food that parents provide, so the parents should be aware of which allergens are available for consumption. It’s worth noting down in a communication diary what allergens were contained in the food consumed that day. Similarly if eating out inform the parents what allergens were present in writing, so make a habit of noting down food information when out and about.
NB Self-employed nannies, as a business, do have a responsibility to provide this information, like nurseries and childminders.