Royal Russell School Accredited

Royal Russell School

Coombe Lane


Greater London


Client ID Number: AA/00000283

The Royal Russell School achieves Allergen Accreditation status

Andrew Edwards the Catering and Hospitality Manager, and Chris O’Connor who is the Executive Head Chef were delighted last week when their application to join the Allergen Accreditation Scheme was formally accepted. Jacqui McPeake, Senior Allergen Advisor visited the school on December 8th 2020, to undertake the formal audit. It was evident that the team had worked hard and had focussed on improving their allergen management procedures in the catering department.

The Royal Russell School situated in leafy Croydon Surrey; is a prestigious school providing education for children from 3 to 18 years with an outstanding range of exciting opportunities. The school is a highly successful public school, providing outstanding education set in spectacular grounds.

The catering services are provided to Nursery, Junior School and Senior School locations. The catering team provides approximately 1300 lunches for the full school Monday-Friday. There are approximately 200 boarders who are provided with all meals 7 days per week. During the Allergen Accreditation Audit, a meeting had been called to discuss the possible changes to the planned Christmas lunches. The Covid 19 situation has certainly proved challenging for the team, but I can confirm they took the proposed changes in their stride as caterers often are required to do!

The team also provide hospitality on Sports Days and School Events. In normal circumstances they will host commercial, residential conferences and events.

Chris commented that approximately 20% of the pupils have special dietary requests including allergies and intolerances, religious observance, medical advice and lifestyle choices. This figure has increased significantly over the last couple of years. Andrew commented that recently a new pupil arrived at the school following a change in school, one of the key aspects that his parents were concerned about was whether his allergies would be catered for properly. It is a priority for many parents of children with allergies.

Andrew was committed to ensuring that the team have all received allergen training. There are 16 staff who work in the kitchen and 25 staff working front of house. 20 of the staff including chefs and front of house staff undertook Level 3 Food Allergen Training provided by Jacqui McPeake and the rest of the team undertook a food allergen awareness course. During the physical audit it was evident that the whole team had a positive allergen culture; and that due to the training, had already implemented changes in their allergen procedures. A separate area in the kitchen has been dedicated to preparing the special dietary requests. It was very organised using specific storage containers, chopping boards and knives and utensils – all in purple of course! This will highlight the need for caution when preparing meals in this area and to ensure the risk of cross contamination is reduced as far as possible.

It was a pleasure to support the team through the training and to undertake the formal Allergen Accreditation Audit. Congratulations to Andrew, Chris and the team!