Peanut Butter on the Menu in School Cafeterias

The Greater Johnstown School District will begin offering peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on school lunch menus on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 in all of our schools except Pleasant Avenue. Pleasant Avenue students will continue to be allowed to bring peanut butter and peanut products from their homes (as has been the case in all of our schools). However, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches will not be on the lunch menu there.

For Glebe Street School students, the District will be purchasing pre-processed and pre-packaged peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to be offered for lunch. No peanut butter and jelly sandwiches will be prepared in Glebe’s cafeteria. School lunch personnel will only be making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the school kitchens at Warren Street, Knox & Johnstown High School. The sandwiches will be made in a dedicated section of the kitchens with dedicated preparation stations and preparation materials. (These same practices are used throughout the HFM BOCES region’s school lunch programs as they all offer peanut butter.) Every sandwich will be packaged in a Ziploc-type sandwich bag to ensure containment.

All school lunch personnel have been trained in cross contamination protocols that directly address food allergies and how to avoid cross contamination.  Food allergy and anaphylaxis training will continue to be conducted throughout the district. Food service personnel will continue to work in cooperation with school health personnel to identify and support those students.

The custodial staff have been reminded about specialized cleaning solutions and protocols for cleaning peanut-safe eating spaces in the cafeterias.  The spaces are available to students with allergies that choose to sit there.

Please know that the decision to bring peanut butter back as a lunch offering was made only after much research and discussion. The District is confident in its staff’s ability to provide a safe eating environment for all.

If you would like to address specific questions or concerns regarding your child, feel free to contact your child’s school nurse or principal.