School Food Allergy Guidelines

Ensure your school’s policies are in line with federal and state laws that protect children who live with food allergies.

Food Allergy Guidelines for Schools

Studies show that 16 to 18% of school-age children with food allergies have had an allergic reaction in school. And in about 25% of the reactions that occur at school, the student had not yet been diagnosed with food allergy.1

Physicians, families and school staff should work together to keep students with food allergies safe.

When you implement the following guidelines, you’ll help lower students’ exposure to allergens and improve your school's response to life-threatening reactions. You'll also ensure your policies are in line with federal and state laws that protect children with serious health issues.

A Letter from FARE to School Leaders
This message from FARE staff provides an overview of the CDC’s 2013 national guidelines for managing food allergies in the school setting. Download and send to your school.

National Guidelines from the CDC
In 2013, the CDC released the first national comprehensive guidelines for managing food allergies in schools. The recommendations seek to protect the physical and emotional health of students with food allergies. They provide practical information and strategies for schools while reinforcing federal laws and regulations.

Keeping Students Safe & Included (Training)
A free 30-minute online training course designed to help school staff and administrators become better prepared to manage students with food allergies and respond to food allergy emergencies.

Recognizing & Responding to Anaphylaxis (Training)
Food allergy is the most common cause of anaphylaxis, although several other allergens—such as insect stings, medications or latex—can be potential triggers.  Get prepared to handle anaphylaxis by taking this free 10-minute online course. 

CDC Tool Kit for Managing Food Allergies at Schools
This tool kit is intended to help schools implement the recommended policies, practices and procedures found in the CDC national guidelines. It contains downloadable tip sheets, customizable PowerPoints and podcasts for specific school audiences.

State Guidelines
Find state-by-state published guidelines (where available) for managing food allergies in schools.

Understanding Food Allergy as a Disability
A disability is defined as a physical or mental issue that seriously limits one or more major life activity. A food allergy may be considered a disability under federal law. Educators and other school personnel should take time to understand these laws and the rights that they grant to students.

Recommended Practices for Reducing the Risk of Exposure to Food Allergens
This CDC document outlines recommended ways to reduce students’ exposure to food allergens. The guidelines address situations including the classroom, cafeteria, transportation, school events, physical education and recess.

Epinephrine at School
Look up the state laws that allow students to carry prescribed epinephrine. Learn about FARE’s efforts to expand stock epinephrine in schools across the country as well.

Teacher’s Checklist
Does one of your students have a diagnosed food allergy? Follow these tips for a safe and inclusive classroom.

Actions for School Boards
Every school should have a Food Allergy Management and Prevention Plan. Here are ways school boards can coordinate this at the district level—and support staff and families in the process.

Actions for School District Administrators
Superintendents can play a critical role in championing food allergy awareness and management. Prepare your school district for food allergy emergencies, limit bullying of students with food allergies and create a generally safe environment for these students.


1. Administration of Epinephrine for Life-Threatening Allergic Reactions in School Settings. CL Mcintyre, AH Sheetz, CR Carroll, MC Young. Pediatrics. Vol. 116, No. 5. Nov. 2005