Peanut butter off Chesterfield school menus

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The tragic death of a Chesterfield child has prompted a change in school menus. Ammaria Johnson died last month after a student gave her a peanut on the playground. She suffered from a peanut allergy.

It's a staple of cafeteria food, but now peanut butter and jelly is off the menu at elementary schools across Chesterfield.

Tiffany Glass Ferreira has a son with food allergies. She says getting rid of peanut products is a step in the right direction.

"We have to read every single ingredient on every single package of every single thing that we eat, so I cannot possibly expect every parent of every child to do the same," she said.

But she says she realizes not serving peanut butter in the cafeteria won't get rid of the dangers for children with peanut allergies.

This is not a full ban on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in Chesterfield schools. If a parent wants to send their child with one, they can still pack it in their lunch.

Tiffany says other children can trigger an allergic reaction accidentally without bringing a peanut into the cafeteria.

"Eating peanut butter toast and not washing their hands and coming to school. The smallest amount of some of these allergens can cause a reaction," Ferreira said.

A relatively small number of students have peanut allergies. Many parents recognize the lunch menu would be pretty sparse if schools stopped serving every food that could trigger an allergic reaction for a child.

"Milk for example, we're not going to take pizza off the menu but I do understand the need to keep every child safe," Ferreira added.

Any foods containing peanuts will be removed from staff vending machines to make sure a teacher doesn't accidentally bring it into the classroom. Hanover has a similar policy. It does not serve peanuts or peanut butter in its cafeterias.

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