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Help! Policy Needed


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Hi

This is the first time i have posted anything, so i hope i have done it right.

we are a sessional pre-school, so the children do not stay for lunch. I am wondering if anyone has a policy on the preparation of food as we have many parents who want to bring home cooked food for the children such as birthday cakes, buns and food for our parties. I am wondering if we need a policy due to hygiene reasons. Can anyone help?

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Hi We don't allow home cooked food at all for parties etc. If parents want to bring party food in or birthday cakes they must be shop bought and have the original packaging with them. This way we can control the ingredients and cleanliness of the food brought in. Hope this helps

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Hi racquel and welcome to the forum! :o

 

Have you tried contacting your local Environmental Health Dept? Ours are always very helpful and like to work alongside providers when formulating policies and procedures like these - might be worth giving them a ring?

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Welcome to the Forum, raquel

 

I tend to buy all the food for parties myself but parents do bring cakes and biscuits etc when it is a child's birthday. I just check with them the ingredients they have used to make sure all the children can eat them before giving them out to children (and in any case they only eat them when they are collected at the end of the session.

 

I think that if parents were donating food for a party I would ask them to write down the ingredients they have used so that everyone could see what they were eating. Hygiene is a difficult one - I'm not sure how you would word this in a policy so I'll be interested to see if anyone actually has one that covers food prepared at home!

 

I like Wolfie's suggestion - but also I was wondering if you know a WI member? I seem to remember that recently there was a bit of an outcry about them not being able to sell their home-made sponge cakes or whatever because they couldn't guarantee the hygiene standards and/or allergy information for their products! I'm sure they'll have sorted this out by now and might be able to offer advice!

 

Maz

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Having just had a bring and share buffet for 70 after our Christmas Pageant last week I shall follow this thread with interest!! We did comment however, that there were no homemade cakes this year.... maybe that's a good thing :o

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I'm watching with interest too - mainly because the children made the cake for their own christmas party.

 

As always hands washed, aprons on, etc - but where does that glitter come from!!!! - it wasn't how we planned to decorate but somehow it always gets there

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Hi, a warm welcome from me too and thanks for your first post.

 

Maybe another idea would be to include a disclaimer within your registration policy, something on the lines of "Foods may be at times, for special events etc be produced by parents at home, we do not accept any liability for any health effects following your child's consumption of such foods so please ensure staff are made aware if you prefer your child not to eat produce provided by parents and on such occasions supply own food for your child" (Sorry a bit long winded and possibly could be worded better).

 

With such a disclaimer it would stop the need to do checks every time there is a social event. Maybe check that such a disclaimer would be legally standing though, in the event of any illness.

 

Peggy

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Hi, a warm welcome from me too and thanks for your first post.

 

Maybe another idea would be to include a disclaimer within your registration policy, something on the lines of "Foods may be at times, for special events etc be produced by parents at home, we do not accept any liability for any health effects following your child's consumption of such foods so please ensure staff are made aware if you prefer your child not to eat produce provided by parents and on such occasions supply own food for your child" (Sorry a bit long winded and possibly could be worded better).

 

With such a disclaimer it would stop the need to do checks every time there is a social event. Maybe check that such a disclaimer would be legally standing though, in the event of any illness.

 

Peggy

 

Thanks Peggy, I was thinking along these lines myself. For our last xmas party we asked for everything in original packaging, but i dont think i put the message accross properly as we ended up with some home cooked food. Many of our parents like to bring food in for the children.

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Welcome to the Forum, raquel

 

I tend to buy all the food for parties myself but parents do bring cakes and biscuits etc when it is a child's birthday. I just check with them the ingredients they have used to make sure all the children can eat them before giving them out to children (and in any case they only eat them when they are collected at the end of the session.

 

I think that if parents were donating food for a party I would ask them to write down the ingredients they have used so that everyone could see what they were eating. Hygiene is a difficult one - I'm not sure how you would word this in a policy so I'll be interested to see if anyone actually has one that covers food prepared at home!

 

I like Wolfie's suggestion - but also I was wondering if you know a WI member? I seem to remember that recently there was a bit of an outcry about them not being able to sell their home-made sponge cakes or whatever because they couldn't guarantee the hygiene standards and/or allergy information for their products! I'm sure they'll have sorted this out by now and might be able to offer advice!

 

 

Thanks for the advice, good idea asking for ingredients

Maz

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Hi racquel and welcome to the forum! :o

 

Have you tried contacting your local Environmental Health Dept? Ours are always very helpful and like to work alongside providers when formulating policies and procedures like these - might be worth giving them a ring?

 

 

Thanks Wolfie.. will do cheers

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we don't have any food brought from home, at christmas parties we give each child a paper plate with their name on and ask the parents to fill it with food for that child and bring it back on party day... this also helps with all the allergies... but i like peggys idea of a disclaimer...

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I think a disclaimer is a good idea. We have some asian parents who always make some fabulous samosas and bahjis. Of course the staff usually get in first :o It is a shame not to allow parents to make food but I do understand the hygiene concerns. Parents who are motivated enough to make food at home to share you would hope would be the hygienic type

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi

This is the first time i have posted anything, so i hope i have done it right.

we are a sessional pre-school, so the children do not stay for lunch. I am wondering if anyone has a policy on the preparation of food as we have many parents who want to bring home cooked food for the children such as birthday cakes, buns and food for our parties. I am wondering if we need a policy due to hygiene reasons. Can anyone help?

 

Hi Rachel

 

I am a development officer and I would suggest that you should have policy on food & hygeine. The PLA have written a new document in line with EYFS which gives some good guidance. The new policy could come under Promoting health and hygiene and could also be linked to the themes and commitments. Having a good policy will help you to inform parents of what is required from them especially if you do not want home cooked items bringing in, you can refer them back to your policy ! (not sure if this new documents is downloadable but you could try)

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Hi Racquel, having worked for a couple of the big nursery chains I don't think a disclaimer is really enough, legally. What if a parent forgets to list an item in the ingredients that causes an allergic reaction in a child whom you knew had an allergy? All the big chains ask parents to bring in shop-bought food, so that if a child with an allergy does (heaven forbid) eat something they should not then the responsibility lies fair and square on staff and management at the nursery. One way you could get around this is maybe to ask parents to use the kitchen at your setting to make the food. Then at least you would know that hygiene is maintained and also kee exactly what ingredients are going into the food.

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It's actually far simpler just to say, 'no thanks', or suggest that they bring cake in in party bags for children to take home, then it's not consumed in your setting and parents get some say in what heir child has to eat. We have a pretend cake I made many years ago, a polystyrene base which I decorate. We have candles for children to blow out. This makes sure that all children have the same celebration on their birthday - regardless of whether they have brought a cake in or not. Any home made cakes for parties are made by staff and children at preschool (chocolate krispies usually).

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