Primary school bans chocolate to protect allergic pupil
Published 26/01/2016 | 13:46
Chocolate has been banned at a primary school in south Wales because one pupil has an allergy to it.
Alltwen Primary School in Pontardawe, Neath Port Talbot, took the bold decision after saying the treat could make one of its youngsters "very ill" - and has even barred teachers from eating chocolate in the staff room.
While the decision has not been universally popular, head teacher Owain Hyett insisted the drastic action was justified.
In a letter to parents, he said: "Unfortunately, one of our pupils has been diagnosed with a chocolate intolerance and can become very ill if in contact with chocolate.
"Sadly the pupil is also highly sensitive to chocolate if it is airborne or being eaten by another pupil.
"To maintain the safety of this pupil our school will be adopting a no-chocolate policy for all pupils and staff. All areas of the school will be chocolate-free including the staff room and office.
"The catering department are working with the school to amend our dinner menu by replacing any chocolate products.
"We also ask that you ensure that there are no traces of chocolate in our pupils' packed lunches or school bags."
The move has divided opinion among parents at the school - with some saying they supported it while others said a total ban was excessive and unenforceable.
One mum, who did not wish to be named, said: "There must be other ways of keeping this child safe than banning chocolate across the whole school.
"How are they going to police it anyway? Are they going to go through every child's lunchboxes?"
According to the website Newhealthguide.org, true chocolate allergies are extremely rare.
It says: "Most of the time when someone has an allergic reaction to chocolate, it is actually a reaction to the additives that are put with the chocolate when it is processed. When chocolate is manufactured, it can have up to 300 ingredients added if not more."
As well as causing shortness of breath, a chocolate allergy can cause stomach ache as well as nausea.