With so many children to feed in schools, mealtimes are no easy task. When providing food and drink options, each child will have different preferences, diets and conditions.

Ensuring children receive suitable meals is vital for education providers, from allergies and intolerances to cultural or spiritual diets. Schools across the UK can have anything from hundreds to thousands of pupils- so how can catering staff use cashless catering to ensure that children are safe and protected at mealtimes?

Safeguarding pupils with allergies

In Britain, around one in five people have an allergy. Allergic reactions can have fatal consequences, including anaphylaxis, rashes or breathing difficulties. It is always better to be safe than sorry where children are involved.

Whilst older children are often aware of their dietary limitations, mistakes can still happen. According to the Food Standards Agency, about ten people die from food-induced anaphylaxis in the UK every year.

Whilst this figure is alarming, further research found that young adults and teenagers are at particular risk of severe reactions. For education providers, this creates cause for concern.

Allergies are not the sole dietary consideration in schools. Children could have special diets for cultural, individual or religious reasons, and these unique characteristics define a child's identity and lifestyle. Ensuring that children receive meals representing their identity is vital when embracing and nurturing young adults.

Flagging allergens with cashless catering software

CRB Cunninghams Cashless Catering solutions allow schools to safeguard children efficiently. The intelligent till systems show smart alerts which inform the operator of the necessary information.

The system gathers this information by directly linking with the MIS, giving schools a seamless communication stream between both information sources. Combining the software ensures that allergen or particular diet data surfaces if recorded on each child's MIS account. By eradicating manual interference, there is less room for human error.

For schools that have not yet taken full advantage of linking the systems directly together, mealtime operators can still upload individual pupil information stored within the till system.

Using cashless catering, regardless of the breakfast or lunchtime rush, staff can ensure that pupils receive food representative of their requirements - all managed seamlessly through our market-leading software.

To find out more, call us on 0333 014 3065. We have provided educational software to schools for over 50 years, working closely with local authorities and schools offering cashless catering, biometrics recognition, identity management software, online payments, and much more.