The Food-Safe Schools Action Guide • The National Coalition for Food-Safe Schools

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School Nurse Superhero

Food Safety for School Nurses

Essential to keeping kids healthy

An outbreak of foodborne illness can fill up a health office fast. Both in the office and as a health resource, the school nurse plays a critical role in keeping students and staff healthy, working with others to detect potential outbreaks, and quickly implementing preventative measures. The Food-Safe Schools Action Guide urges nurses to follow these simple but critical recommendations.

  1. Acquire and maintain current knowledge of foodborne illnesses, reporting requirements, and local health policies. 
  2. Maintain a high level of suspicion of foodborne illness when assessing students and staff presenting with gastrointestinal tract symptoms. 
  3. Maintain records of student and staff illness and review the records for indicators of a foodborne illness outbreak. 
  4. Work with attendance staff to identify possible cases of foodborne illness and follow up with students, families, and staff as needed. 
  5. Develop, implement, and evaluate school health policies and protocols for the in-school management and referral of students and staff who are suspected of having a foodborne illness. 
  6. Collaborate with essential school staff, local health department staff, health care practitioners, students, and families in the prevention and control of foodborne illness outbreaks. 
  7. Promote prevention awareness and education for staff, students, and their families, and advocate for school policies that focus on safe food and handwashing behaviors.

Expert reviews of food safety education materials provided by NEHA in collaboration with CDC and NCFSS can be found at www.foodsafetyweb.info/reviews

New Team Member Resource Available! Check Out the Team Member In-Depth Modules

Learn more about your role in ensuring a food-safe school and find useful tips and resources to help you implement these recommendations. Check out the special school nurse how to section (Word document).

Check out the Web sites below for more great resources.

 

 

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