FOX45 News - Food Allergies

Anchor: Well school administrators dealing with an increase of children diagnosed with asthma and allergies. Some allergies are so severe they can be deadly. Fox45 is partnering with the law offices of Gillman and Bedigian to discuss the laws to protect your students, in fact joining me now attorney Charles Gillman. Thank you so much for coming in.

Charles: Thank you Tom I always enjoy being here.

Tom: I want to talk to you about this we are really talking about allergies, allergies that are so server that they can be deadly that's the one I want to focus on. Say like a whole school and there is one student in the school say of a population of 700 that one student that can turn if he has just one ingesting any kind of peanut can die from it. That means the rest of the school no more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, forever right?

Charles: Correct it becomes a peanut free school to protect that one child.

Tom: Okay.

Charles: The child is protected under the federal law the ADA and there is also local Marion laws to protect the child it is treated as a disability.

Tom: Some parents would argue and say that you know what this one child is putting out this 1000 children or 700 depending on the school size why can't we have that one child eat in a certain area or be confined to certain rooms.

Charles: Now a days allergies can be such a risk where just touching peanut dust or being around peanut dusk or even being around another child that had contact with the nut if it's a nut allergies can be so server that it can result in anaphylaxis shock and before you know it the problem really escalates so its not worth the risk. 

Tom: So where do we separate this out I mean because there are a lot of allergies out there so is this going to be the case for every child that comes in with a server allergy?

Charles: It depends on the severity of the allergy I think some allergies can be contained like you described have an allergy free area in the cafeteria but other ones are so server that they can't be so it really going to be on a case by case basis.  And a lot of the school administrators are very well trained on the topic of allergies and the subject matter of allergies and know exactly how to deal with it. The cafeterias are almost treated as food establishments so you also have another layer of protection there where the people running the cafeterias know what to do and how to handle a particular situation its really going to vary.

Tom: Are these laws more than focused on the staff that's there? Like the cafeteria workers or the building its self if you do have a cafeteria inside it. 

Charles: Its more the cafeteria but it extends to the building for example the school is not going to serve peanut M&M's in a class room with a child with peanut allergies is going to be. 

Tom: Yeah a lot of schools going to just pretzel based snacks and that's it, that's all the children are allowed to bring in they can't bring in any cupcakes. Or they have to be store bought and they have to see the ingredients there and check with the nurse.  Where are we going now have you seen an increase in cases here are we starting to see allergies impacting legal standards for schools?

Charles: We saw an increase years ago but its starting to weigh in again because now that everybody is more well informed know the topic they know how to prevent it.

Tom: Charles Gillman thank you so much we appreciate your insight on this.

Charles: Thank you Tom.

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