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.
- Acquire and maintain current knowledge of foodborne illnesses,
reporting requirements, and local health policies.
- Maintain a high level
of suspicion of foodborne illness when assessing students and staff
presenting with gastrointestinal tract symptoms.
- Maintain records of
student and staff illness and review the records for indicators of a
foodborne illness outbreak.
- Work with attendance staff to identify
possible cases of foodborne illness and follow up with students, families,
and staff as needed.
- 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.
with essential school staff, local health department staff, health care
practitioners, students, and families in the prevention and control of
foodborne illness outbreaks.
- Promote prevention awareness and education
for staff, students, and their families, and advocate for school policies
that focus on safe food and handwashing behaviors.
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.