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August 14, 2006

MA Senate approves food allergy bill

The Massachusetts Senate has overwhelmingly approved a bill sponsored by Senator Cynthia Creem, D-Newton, to require food allergy training for restaurant managers and to increase awareness of the safety issues surrounding complications from food allergies for all restaurant personnel. The bill, entitled An Act Promoting Food Allergy Awareness in Restaurants, was adopted by a unanimous vote in the Senate.

Senator Creem was inspired to file this legislation by a young constituent who suffers from food allergies. Julia Stern, who was still in high school when she first sought the assistance of Senator Creem, is a Newton resident who found it difficult to dine at restaurants.

"This is very significant step in the process of food allergy awareness - an issue affecting more and more Americans each year," said Stern. "I believe it will bring great peace of mind to the thousands of Massachusetts residents who would simply like to eat in a restaurant without the fear of hidden ingredients or misunderstandings. I urge the House to pass this potentially life-saving bill."

In addition to Stern, Ming Tsai, celebrity chef/owner of Blue Ginger restaurant in Wellesley also took up the cause.

Senator Creem's bill would require that food allergy training be included as part of the food safety manager certification course. Additionally, it mandates the posting in restaurant staff areas of a poster providing general information on food allergies as they relate to food preparation, and it would require menus to include a statement that the customer should inform the wait staff of any food allergy issues.

source: TownOnline.com

Posted by David at August 14, 2006 10:13 AM