A council in Melbourne's eastern suburbs has banned kindergarten pupils from sharing homemade cakes in the classroom because of health and safety fears.
Homemade goodies are no longer allowed under a Knox Council ruling because of concerns over 'correct food handling procedures' and 'allergy control'.
The new rule states pupils - at kindergartens in the Melbourne east municipality - can bring a slice of homemade cake in a lunch box, but the treat cannot be shared with classmates because of the danger of illness.
The ban, which also prevents children from bringing their own cakes from home to share on birthdays, does not include store-bought cakes.
Knox Council Director Community Services Kerry Stubbing told News Ltd: "Store-bought products ensure correct procedures have been followed and that any trace of nuts or other potential allergens is detailed."
Egg cartons and toilet rolls for children's artwork are also banned under the new guidelines, with the council again citing sanitary reasons and the risk of a child becoming ill.
Parents have hit out at the move, saying it is yet another step towards a 'nanny state'.
"I think it's just over-regulated," one parent told Seven News.
Another stunned parent added: "I just think it's being taken a little too much out of proportion."
Victorian Health Minister David Davis agreed, saying the ban is a 'step too far'.
"There's a clear need to ensure that we have safety and security in our child care centres, and particularly high standards of food handling," he said.
"However, these have to be practical, they have to be sensible, they have got to be grounded in the real world.
"The idea of banning children from bringing cakes to kinder for birthday parties does seem to have gone a step too far."
However, there are plenty of parents who support the policy, which is designed to avoid contamination from home kitchens.
Deborah Cullens runs an independent Wantirna South Kinder that has already banned BYO cakes.
"They get a birthday cake that's made on the premises so we know what's in it and we know what child to give the food to."Knox Council is standing by its policy, saying in a statement it has a legal obligation to protect children in its care from potential dangers, including foods, and that it operates according to national regulations.
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