In the UK, 5-8% of children suffer from a food allergy, which means that most classrooms will have at least one pupil with a food allergy at school. The school food industry must understand the importance of allergy compliance to protect students from allergies or life-threatening anaphylaxis.
Understanding the evolving school food legislation, such as Natasha’s Law, is crucial. Comprehensive training and documentation are required to comply with the laws relating to food allergen control which can be challenging to stay up to date with.
Although staying on top of changes and protocols can be challenging, nutritional and allergen-analysis software like Nutmeg can help eliminate the guesswork involved with allergy compliance, enabling schools and caterers to simplify the menu planning and analysis process.
Easily view allergen information with Nutmeg
Waiting for suppliers to confirm allergens in ingredient lists can sometimes be lengthy and poses the risk of guesswork. Nutmeg software takes the guesswork from knowing what is in many meals for caterers by offering an overview of meal information, including items containing the 14 main allergens.
Some of these allergens include:
- Cereals containing gluten; namely wheat, rye, barley, and oats
Automating the menu planning process to reduce the risk of human error
Creating an allergen matrix with Nutmeg is a straightforward process for caterers and schools. Users can input recipes which will highlight any allergens present. This handy process can also be automated, which can help reduce the risk of human error and prevent the danger of cross-contamination when preparing meals, highlighting any of the 14 allergens present in recipes.
Having an automated process set up to review menus is hugely beneficial. It can save caterers and schools time from manually checking foods and creating an allergen report to display for meals served.
Safeguarding pupils through nutritional analysis software
Safeguarding pupils is the top priority for schools, with 17% of fatal allergic reactions in children happening while at school, increasing the pressure on schools to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.
By using nutritional analysis software, schools and caterers can help reduce pupils’ chance of allergic reactions within their grounds. Nutmeg’s intuitive nutritional and meal analysis function is inclusive of special dietary requirements, which aids caterers to identify allergens quickly. Within the system, a report can then be generated to show which planned meals contains allergens which can be displayed next to menu items. Also, the information can be printed as a label to stick on pre-packaged foods or shown in a school meal pre-ordering solution like the Fusion Online pre-order meal app. Nutmeg software is the perfect solution to ensure pupils understand what is in their meals
Using a visual menu planning and analysis method
Nutmeg’s intuitive recipe analysis function includes special dietary requirements and uses the latest McCance and Widdowson Composition of Foods database. Recipe information can be stored in a database, and new recipes can be analysed and added to the food directory. From there, Nutmeg uses the recipe data to estimate nutrient losses through cooking.
All menus are analysed based on the standards for specified population groups. Up to 14 macronutrients, micronutrients, and energy are analysed. Nutmeg’s colour-coded nutritional analysis shows the percentage by which each nutrient exceeds or falls short of the school food standards and the causes of any nutritional imbalances in the menu.
Investing in an allergen, nutritional and meal analysis software like Nutmeg can help schools and caterers ensure compliance is met and in line with legislation. Having features like menu planning, meal analysis, and allergen matrix takes the guesswork out of allergen compliance and saves schools and caterers doing their own research to ensure they stay up to date with the relevant compliance.