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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Food Allergies in School

What is a Food Allergy?1

A food allergy happens when the body’s immune system overreacts to the protein in certain foods. This causes an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions can be mild to severe and can also be deadly.

Health Canada lists common food allergens (the food a person is allergic to) in Canada, some of which include peanuts, tree nuts, milk, soy and eggs.

Food Allergy Treatment1

  • There is no cure for food allergies.
  • The only treatment is to avoid the food allergen and any products that contain that specific food.

Food Allergies in Schools 

Most schools in the Middlesex-London area require peanut free lunches. Check with your school to see if you should avoid packing foods containing peanuts in your child's lunch. If your child has a food allergy, talk to the school and ensure an emergency plan is in place.

Here are some tips to help make the classroom safer for students with peanut allergies:

  • Encourage children not to share food at school.
  • Read the ingredient list to ensure that the foods you are sending to school don’t contain peanuts or peanut products.
  • Avoid products that state “may contain peanuts/nuts” or “may contain traces of peanuts/nuts”.
  • Avoid food and products that don’t have an ingredient list.
  • There are some non-food sources of peanuts that we may not think about, like some cosmetics, sun screens and craft materials.

Other Food Allergies

If you have questions about other food allergies, like milk, mustard, soy or eggs, talk to the Public Health Nurse at your school and refer to the websites below.

Date of creation: January 21, 2013
Last modified on: July 11, 2022


1Health Canada. (2012, August 22). Food Allergies and Intolerances. Retrieved from
2Healthy Canadians. (2013, February 15). Safe School Lunches. Retrieved from