New allergy checklist for schools launched in memory of Peterborough boy who suffered fatal reaction

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Benedict Blythe was just five when he died after suffering a reaction at school

The UK’s first allergy safe food lessons checklist, aimed at keeping pupils with allergies safer in cookery classes at school is being launched today in memory of a Peterborough boy who died after suffering a reaction at school.

Benedict Blythe was just five when he sadly suffered the reaction while at Barnack School in 2021.

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Since then, Benedict’s family have been raising awareness of issues around allergies, having founded the Benedict Blythe Foundation. Now the foundation has been working with the The Food Teachers Centre - a UK based self-help group for over 9,000 food teachers and support staff that has been running for over two decades – to create a checklist to help other pupils with allergies safe.

Benedict BlytheBenedict Blythe
Benedict Blythe
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Described as ‘life-saving protection for students with allergies’, the Allergy Safe Food Lessons – Checklist for Schools gives headteachers, governors and academies a clear understanding of what needs to be done to make food lessons safe for students with allergies – something that is too often overlooked.

‘Stories we have heard would strike fear into any parent’

Benedict’s mum, Helen Blythe, founder of Benedict Blythe Foundation said: “The stories we heard from food teachers would strike fear into any parent of a child with allergies wanting to take up cookery at school.

"Since Benedict died, we have heard too many examples of crowded classrooms with bubbling saucepans 4 to a hob, inadequate time and resource to plan allergy-safe meals, or to clean down properly between lessons, and children sadly being excluded entirely from a subject that’s particularly beneficial for those with a food allergy.

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"This checklist gives headteachers and governors clarity about what good looks like when it comes to teaching food lessons in an allergy safe way. It also gives parents and food teachers a tool to use to request the school does its best to adopt good practice. We hope this will enable more children to access the food curriculum, and to do so safely.”

The checklist includes items such as making sure teachers receive the correct training, the correct equipment is available to all pupils, including deep cleaning of items such as aprons, and there is enough space in the classroom for pupils to be separated from the allergens.

‘Food teachers left without whole school support or action’

Louise Davies, Founder of Food Teacher Centre added: “At the Food Teachers Centre we find that despite awareness of the dangers, our food teachers are left without whole school support or action. The school rarely has a policy, and our food teachers are left to reach out to ask the Food Teacher Centre team what they need to do to protect the children they teach in food lessons. It’s inappropriate that many individual teachers are left to produce school and lesson policies on behalf of the head/governors without the right knowledge or support.”

The Checklist is a free resource and all schools are urged to adhere to the criteria. For more information visit

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