Anaphylaxis (Nut Aware) Policy

Bruce County has development and approved a ‘nut-aware’ policy in order to comply with the Policy on Ableism and Discrimination which recognizes Anaphylaxis as a disability under the Humans Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19 (Code) and the Canadian Human Rights Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. H-6.

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The Policy on Ableism and Discrimination recognizes a legal responsibility for service providers to accommodate people with potentially life-threatening allergies, as they would any other person with a disability, to the point of undue hardship. This requires responsible parties to maintain accessible, inclusive, discrimination and harassment-free environments that respect human rights.

While Anaphylaxis can result from a number of known allergens, there is a specific emphasis in this Policy on one of the most common allergens: nuts and nut products.

A ‘nut-aware’ policy does not guarantee the County’s facilities will be free of nuts or nut products but rather is intended to raise awareness and encourage voluntary compliance.

Bruce County is taking the necessary steps to implement the Anaphylaxis 'Nut Aware' Policy, through a phased approach. The policy, supporting documents and educational materials are available under Attachments (right):

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Anaphylaxis is a severe systemic allergic reaction which can be fatal, resulting in circulatory collapse or shock.

Signs and symptoms of Anaphylaxis can occur within minutes of exposure to an allergen. In rarer cases, the time frame can vary up to several hours after exposure. The ways symptoms appear can vary from person to person and from episode to episode in the same person. They can lead to loss of consciousness and death. Immediate treatment is required with epinephrine (usually with an auto-injector like an EpiPen) followed by a visit to the hospital emergency room.

Reactions generally include two or more of the following:

  • Skin - hives, swelling (face, lips, tongue), itching, warmth, redness;
  • Respiratory (breathing) - coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, throat tightness, hoarse voice, nasal congestion or hay fever-like symptoms (runny, itchy nose and watery eyes, sneezing), trouble swallowing;
  • Gastrointestinal (stomach) - nausea, pain or cramps, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • Cardiovascular (heart) - paler than normal skin colour/blue colour, weak pulse, passing out, dizziness or light-headedness, shock;
  • Other - anxiety, sense of doom (the feeling that something bad is about to happen), headache, uterine cramps, metallic taste.
  • However, low blood pressure alone, in the absence of other symptoms, can also represent anaphylaxis.

An EpiPen is the brand name of an auto-injector to deliver epinephrine - the only proven emergency treatment for anaphylaxis. People with severe allergies should carry an auto-injector with them at all times. It is also recommended to wear a Medic Alert bracelet.

Epinephrine is the synthetic form of the hormone adrenaline that is used as the treatment or drug of choice to treat anaphylaxis and life-threatening asthma attacks. This treatment is live-saving.

The policy applies to the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre and Bruce County library branches. It does not apply to private functions within these facilities in which the public is not invited and public events for which an exemption has been provided.

Peanuts and tree nuts, which includes almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachio nuts, and walnuts are NOT allowed.

Peanuts may be listed on the label as: Arachide, Arachis Oil, Beer Nuts, Cacahouette, Goober Nuts, Goober Peas, Kernels, Mandelonas, Nut Meats, or Valencias.

Other Nuts listed as: Almonds, Beechnuts, Brazil Nuts, Butternuts, Cashews, Chestnuts, Filberts, Hazelnuts, Hickory Nuts, Macadamias, Mixed Nuts, Nut Butter, Cold Pressed Nut Oil, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Pralines, or Walnuts.

No coconut is not a nut, neither is nutmeg. These are not triggers for a person with a nut allergy.

A nut-aware facility means that there is a policy (Anaphylaxis Nut-Aware Policy) which applies to everyone who uses the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre and Bruce County Library branches to assist those in our community who suffer from Anaphylaxis by not bringing any products with nuts or have nuts listed in the ingredients into the buildings. Additionally, nuts and products which have nuts listed as an ingredient will not be sold within the facilities. Private events to which the public is not included and public events for which an exemption has been approved are exempt from this policy.

Become aware of the signs and symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction and respect your fellow patrons who may be at risk for severe reactions. Avoid cross contamination in the facilities by consuming nuts products at home and follow proper hand hygiene - washing hands well with soapy water after eating. Always read labels carefully before bringing food into the facilities.

No, this policy does not apply to private events for which the organizer of the event is responsible for who is invited and accommodating their guests. All event organizers will be provided with a copy of the County’s Policy and a requested to comply.

Yes, the policy does apply to these events. However, if the organizer of a public event wishes to include nuts or nut products in their event, there is an exemption process available.

The first step is to fill out an individualized plan that will allow the facility to properly identify your child. As a responsible parent, your next step should be to ensure that the organizer of the program you are enrolling your child is provided with the plan and explained the specific nature of your child’s allergy and the proper steps to be taken should anaphylaxis occur. If your child has been prescribed an EpiPen, it is your responsibility to ensure that your child carries it with him or her at all times.

Contact information, picture identification and emergency phone numbers are just a few of the items included in the individualized plan. Its purpose ensure that the organizer of the program you have registered in is aware of your child’s condition and will ensure staff involved in that program are aware. It will assist staff with identifying what may be wrong with your child should an anaphylactic attack occur and allow those most closely associated with your child to act quickly and responsibly.

Yes, County staff working in these facilities are trained in First Aid/CPR, which includes the recognition of signs and symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction and can assist in an emergency.

Yes, the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre is transitioning to become “Nut Aware”. The gift shop products will not contain nuts; however, we cannot guarantee they were made in a nut free facility. While all reasonable efforts are being made to decrease the risk of exposure to allergens the County cannot guarantee a 100% nut-free environment.

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The County of Bruce
Location:  Walkerton Administration Centre Tel:  519-881-1291

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