Special Diet

Policy for Special Meal Accommodations & Food Allergies/ Disabilities

USDA Regulation 7 CFR Part 15b requires substitutions or modifications in school meals for children whose disabilities restrict their diets. A child with a disability must be provided substitutions in foods when that need is supported by a signed statement from a licensed physician.  If a child requires a special meal accommodation due to a food allergy/intolerance and/or a diagnosed disability, it is the responsibility of the child’s parent/guardian to notify ABC USD Nutrition Services Department of the child’s situation by submitting a completed Medical Statement to Request Meal Accommodations form (must be signed by a recognized medical authority).  This form can be found at the bottom of this page.

In Cases of Food Allergy

Generally, children with food allergies or intolerances do not have a disability as defined under either Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or Part B of IDEA, and the school food service may, but is not required to, make food substitutions for them.  However, when in the licensed physician’s assessment, food allergies may result in severe, life-threatening (anaphylactic) reactions, the child’s condition would meet the definition of “disability”, and the substitutions prescribed by the licensed physician must be made.

In case of severe allergies (i.e. food allergies considered a disability) the only allergen-free meal substitution available is an entrée of rice and beans. Other meal accommodations (i.e. related to physical disabilities) are not guaranteed and are determined on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact the Nutrition Services Department to discuss your options.

Please note that children diagnosed with a food allergy that does not qualify as a disability will not be eligible to receive any food substitutions and/or accommodations. Consequently, it will be the child’s parent/guardian's RESPONSIBILITY to review our department’s list of “Allergens & Food Sensitivity” (available at www.abcafe.us under the "Menus" tab) with their child and inform them which foods they should avoid when consuming school meals. Unfortunately, our staff is unable to monitor a child’s food choices due to the volume of children at each site. This provision covers those children who have food intolerances or allergies, but do not have life-threatening reactions (anaphylactic reactions) when exposed to the food(s) to which they have problems.

Summary of Parent/ Guardian Responsibilities pertaining to student allergies/disabilities:

  • Submit a completed “Medical Statement to Request Meal Accommodations” form to the Nutrition Services department (must be signed by a physician).
  • Review our department’s list of “Allergens & Food Sensitivity” (available at www.abcafe.us under the "Menus" tab) with your child and inform them which foods they should avoid when consuming school meals.
  • Inform your child’s school in writing of your child’s allergies.
  • Notify teachers, supervisors or after school activities/programs, and/or PTA/field trips, regarding your child’s allergy/ disability.

Please contact us at (562) 926-5566 ext. 21275 if you have any questions or concerns regarding this information.