A MOTHER has called for caterers to change their attitudes to food allergies after her child suffered a severe reaction to a school meal.

It was the second time six-year-old Maizy Harman has had to go to hospital as a result of eating away from home.

She is allergic to dairy products such as milk and also eggs.

When she was three she suffered anaphylactic shock at a family wedding.

Two weeks after she started school, she was given an upside down pineapple pudding and had to be taken to hospital.

“It’s had a massive effect,” said her mother Caroline. “It’s awful. It’s going to impact her for a long time.”

Now Maizy refuses to eat anything that has not been prepared at her home and if invited to birthday parties, doesn’t eat the party food or birthday cake.

Caroline said caterers tended to regard people with food allergies as needing more effort by them and not appreciating the effect of anaphylactic shock.

“We still find people taking it with a bit of salt,” she said..

“People need to know how much of an impact it has.

“Hopefully restaurants will take allergies more seriously.”

Maizy’s parents had initially planned for her to take packed lunches to school.

But when she saw other children having school meals, she wanted to be like them, so she asked if she could.

Other family members strongly advised against it, but Caroline agreed.

“I wanted to encourage her to start eating out,” she said. “It was the worst thing I could have done for her.”

Maizy’s parents had meetings with the school staff and with the school cook about her allergies.

They discussed what she could and could not eat from the school menus.

But two weeks into term, she was given a pudding with egg inside.

Her mother had told the school that it was all right not to give her puddings because she doesn’t have puddings at home. When she was three, Maizie nearly died when she had a life-threatening reaction for the food at a family wedding.

A doctor told her parents then that she would have died if she hadn’t been taken to hospital. Again the family had told the caterers about her allergies.

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