ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Dairy, eggs and meat are some of the most common food allergies in kids, which makes it important not only for schools to follow allergy rules but parents too.
8 On Your Side spoke with Lynn Geist, the Director of Food Services for Pinellas County Schools to see how each cafeteria deals with such common allergies.
First, she says it’s the parents’ responsibility to inform administrators.
“They provide the medical information to us, we provide the menus we have available and they take them to a medical professional to get looked at,” Geist said.
There are also dietary preferences that the school system is getting on board with. For instance, students can choose from a new vegan menu. Many students have asked for vegan options and, this year, they’ll get just that.
“I have a couple of managers who are vegan, so they looked around at the food that we already have to see what they could do and they came up with a nice menu,” said Geist.
Something else students will notice will be new, biodegradable food trays. Pinellas County schools serve 86,200 meals on average a day. Last year, Geist explains they went through 11,000 Styrofoam trays a day. To help cut down on waste, the district is using environmentally-friendly products, like trays made from Idaho wheatgrass, paper straws, etc.