Food Allergies and Restaurants
FARE works with individuals, policymakers and restaurant industry groups to advocate on behalf of families managing food allergies. We commend restaurants who have demonstrated food allergy awareness. At least two states (Massachusetts and Rhode Island) have laws designed to make it safer for individuals with food allergies to dine in restaurants. Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to pass a restaurant awareness law.
Massachusetts Restaurant Legislation In Effect
After years of collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, and celebrity chef Ming Tsai, the Food Allergy Awareness Act is being implemented throughout Massachusetts.
Restaurants in Massachusetts are now required by law to display a food allergy awareness poster (developed by FARE) in the staff area and include a notice on menus and menu boards that reads "Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy."
The new law also includes food allergy training for certified food protection managers via a video featuring Ming Tsai, along with an accompanying training manual, FARE's Welcoming Guests with Food Allergies, as well as allergen awareness training for certified food protection managers.
By February 1, 2011, restaurants in Massachusetts will have to have on staff a certified food protection manager who has been issued a Massachusetts certificate of allergen awareness training through a training program recognized by the MDPH.
The MDPH has selected the following three vendors to issue certificates of allergen awareness training:
- Berkshire Area Health Education Center www.berkshireahec.org
- CompuWorks Systems, Inc. www.compuworks.com
- Massachusetts Restaurant Association www.marestaurantassoc.org
More information about this important new law can be found on the MDPH website.
Rhode Island has already followed the lead taken by Massachusetts, and we hope that other states will follow suit. If you'd like to help enact a similar law in your state, Contact Us.
New York City and St. Paul, MN Approve Food Allergy Awareness Posters for Restaurants
The New York City Council has approved a proposal to require posters with information on food allergy to be placed in food service establishments. The posters would have to be available in multiple languages, including but not limited to Chinese, English, Korean, Russian, and Spanish.
The City Council of St. Paul, Minnesota has approved a similar measure. The St. Paul poster is modeled after a poster developed by FAAN and a flier created by the Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Association (AFAA) of Minnesota. Special thanks go out to Hospitality Minnesota, the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, restaurant industry representatives in Minnesota, and AFAA.
Food Code Revisions