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10/25/2020 09:41 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=27521
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 8, 2019 01:09 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Addressing Food Allergies in Schools and Child Care Centers
 
Food allergies are an increasing public health concern in the United States, especially among children. The National Institutes of Health recognizes that food allergies are a life-threatening and debilitating disease for more than 12 million Americans, including more than 4 million children. The number of children diagnosed with a peanut allergy doubled over the past five years.

For many children, eating even a trace amount of an allergenic food can induce a life-threatening reaction, including severe vomiting, swelling of the tongue and throat, loss of consciousness, and even death in a relatively short period of time. This is cause for grave concern as many of the most common allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish) are staples of the average school child's diet. With this in mind, I am proposing two pieces of legislation to address peanut/tree nut allergies among children.

The first bill will require the Department of Human Services, in conjunction with the Department of Health, to develop guidelines for managing a child with a life-threatening food allergy. These guidelines are to include reasonable accommodations to be made in child care centers to limit exposure to food allergens by children. Child care centers are required to establish a food allergy policy in accordance with the guidelines and provide a notice of the policy to each enrolled child’s parent or guardian.

The second bill will require a notice to be posted that a student within a school building has a peanut or tree nut allergy. Products containing peanuts or tree nuts will be prohibited for sale in the school cafeteria. Additionally, the legislation provides a safe place for students with a peanut or tree nut allergy by designating a cafeteria table to be peanut or tree nut free and one classroom per grade level to be peanut or tree nut free.

There is no cure for these potentially fatal allergies, so the only certain path to protect children is with safe, allergen-free environments in schools and child care centers.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my Harrisburg office at 717-705-1925.



Document #1

Introduced as HB345

Description: The first bill will require the Department of Human Services, in conjunction with the Department of Health, to develop guidelines for managing a child with a life-threatening food allergy. These guidelines are to include reasonable accommodations to be made in child care centers to limit exposure to food allergens by children. Child care centers are required to establish a food allergy policy in accordance with the guidelines and provide a notice of the policy to each enrolled child’s parent or guardian. 
 
  View Attachment
 

Document #2

Introduced as HB346

Description: The second bill will require a notice to be posted that a student within a school building has a peanut or tree nut allergy. Products containing peanuts or tree nuts will be prohibited for sale in the school cafeteria. Additionally, the legislation provides a safe place for students with a peanut or tree nut allergy by designating a cafeteria table to be peanut or tree nut free and one classroom per grade level to be peanut or tree nut free. 
  View Attachment