Nut-Free and Latex-Free Policy
St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church & School has adopted to be a NUT-FREE and LATEX-FREE campus.
No products containing peanuts, tree nuts, or latex are to be brought onto our campus.
This policy needs to be taken quite seriously because of its extremely dangerous consequences. We have students and teachers in our Preschool and Sunday School programs whose lives are threatened by allergic, anaphylactic reactions to peanuts, tree nuts, and latex. An anaphylactic reaction can cause shock, suffocation and death within minutes of the allergy reaction commencing if not treated immediately.
This affects all people coming to our campus – those attending church, working or volunteering our campus, or attending any church, school, or other gathering at any time by any organization.
This affects all food brought to our campus – for school lunches or snacks, teen snacks, luncheons, potlucks, celebrations, catered foods.
Tree nuts include walnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews, Brazil nuts, beech nuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, hickory nuts, almonds, coconuts, pine nuts and macadamia nuts, just to name a few.
Latex is a common component of many consumer products, including balloons and rubber toys. Latex also is found in many medical and dental supplies, including disposable gloves, bandages, dressings, and tubing.
Why this is important
There is no “safe” amount of ingredient in food or “safe” amount of latex that someone with an allergy can be exposed to.
When it comes to food allergies, it is imperative that you realize that these things can cause a life-threatening, allergic reaction:
- Cross-contact with oils from nuts on surfaces
- Airborne oils from nuts
- A product that “may contain trace amounts of peanuts” or a product that has been “processed in a plant that also manufactures nut products.”
Everyone on our campus must do their part to make sure our environment is free from allergens that threaten the lives of people regularly on our campus.
How this impacts you
You have to read food labels and carefully consider ingredients when bringing food to our campus. Those tasty peanut butter cookies everyone loves are out. Almond extract in your cake, or pecans or walnuts in it? Nope. Mixed nuts on a buffet table? Nope. Coconut in your ambrosia? Nope. Swinging by the grocery to pick up prepared foods or packaged snacks that will come to church? Read the labels before you buy and bring. Here are some tips on understanding food labels.
Anyone planning church activities must help get the word out about our policy. Anyone coordinating an event needs to solicit, select and monitor foods brought. This includes all church potlucks, receptions for funerals, wedding receptions, Halloween Trunk-or-Treat, etc.
You must read the manufacturing details on supplies you bring to campus to make sure they don’t have latex.
Celebrations with balloons need to have non-latex balloons.
Exposure can happen so easily – it can take only the slightest smell, touch, or ingestion
Here are a few examples:
- A nut left on the floor picked up by a small child
- The hands of a friend who has just finished a granola bar
- Surface contamination by a nut-containing food item
- A bowl of nuts on a celebration food table
- Pastries baked on the same pan as an almond cake
- A popped balloon unnoticed and picked up by a child
Resources to learn more
Food Allergy Research & Education has great resources for learning about food allergies and awareness, and also some information about non-food allergens like latex.
Many popular candies contain peanuts and nuts. Here are 25 non-food treats kids like just as much as candy.