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One in four: Schools and childcare centres see soaring food requirements

Roughly four million Australians are affected by some sort of allergy and while food allergies are not the most common, their prevalence in the population is certainly rising.

Schools now must take food intolerances or allergies into account at every meal break, with many institutions introducing bans on certain foods such as nuts. 

At one childcare centre in Melbourne’s north, the cooks have to cater for 20 different food requirements. 

Jenny Kearney, owner of Sutherland Street Childcare and Kindergarten in Kilmore, says the food must meet requirements for certain religious beliefs, food intolerance and allergies. 

About one in four students at the centre have some sort of food allergy or specific requests.

‘It seems to be something in the area up here,’ she told Tom Elliott.