ELK GROVE, CA - Just days after a Sacramento-area teen died at a popular camp from a severe allergic reaction to peanut butter, an Elk Grove parent rallied the school district to change its policy on serving peanut products.
Natalie Giorgi, 13, died Friday after eating Rice Krispies-type snack made with peanut butter at Camp Sacramento while on a family vacation. The teen's family said Giorgi was always careful about what she ate.
Mother Susan Durosko said Giorgi's tragic death has scared her and many other parents whose children have severe food allergies.
Durosko's 5-year-old daughter Sophia has a severe allergy to peanuts and tree nuts. Durosko said peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are served once a week at her daughter's school Foulks Ranch Elementary School. When Durosko asked the district nutritionist why, the nutritionist said peanut butter was a good source of protein for non-meat eating students and they considered it tasty.
"Why, when so many kids have food allergies? I asked them a number of weeks ago, 'why would you serve peanut butter? Doesn't it seem risky?'" Durosko said.
"You think everything is going to be OK until you hear stories like Natalie's story," Durosko said. "One bite, one taste, it took three EPI pens and she still died."
Elk Grove Unified School district addressed Duroskos' concerns. Late Tuesday, the district issued a response saying it takes food allergies very seriously.
The district's food and services staff met Tuesday in response to Giorgi's death.
"As a result of this meeting, as of this Friday, August 2, all foods containing peanut products will not be served at EGUSD elementary schools," school district spokeperson Torrey Johnson said.
By Suzanne Phan, firstname.lastname@example.org