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No Nut-sense: Greenfield Introduces Food Allergy Legislation

A new bill would require restaurants to disclose whether their food contains common allergens.

If you've got a food allergy, you're familiar with the risk inherent of going out to eat—after all, is your server really listening when you ask if a particular dish has nuts?

Councilman David Greenfield introduced legislation this week that would require restaurants to post signs alerting diners to common allergies caused by foods served. 

Under the so-called Food Allergy Awareness Act, restaurants would post signs warning patrons whether any food contains common culinary allergens like eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, soy or wheat ingredients. 

“This is a simple, common-sense solution to a serious and growing public health issue," said Greenfield in a statement. "The more awareness we can create about food allergies, the more we can reduce the risk for those people who have to worry about this every time they go out to eat."

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been an 18 percent increase in food allergies between 1997 and 2007, with the prevalence of peanut allergies among children tripling from 1997 to 2008. 

Curiositykilledthecat September 20, 2012 at 05:19 PM
If a person has a fatal allergy, and can't manage to avoid allergens without these signs, I suspect that the signs won't help.
Dudley Escobar September 20, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Exactly. And what about specials? Are the restaurants supposed to produce new signs every day, every single time they create a new dish? And how many dishes don't contain either eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, soy or wheat ingredients? Somewhere close to zero, I would say. Sorry Greenfield, this isn't simple or common-sense. It's an undue burden on restaurant owners that would only cater to a tiny minority of the population, one which has already learned to deal with their own problem.
Bee September 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM
I concur with Curiosity and Dudley. My daughter is severely allergic to peanuts, so we have always been careful about where we eat and bring along an epipen. I suspect the result of this type of legislation would result in a similar result to food package warning with the disclaimer on most products-the old "this product was made in a plant that processes peanuts or this product MAY contain peanut, (most don't but don't want to get sued) to outright refusals to serve food to anyone who is allergic. No thank you David Greenfield. Please stick to your neighborhood's obsession with parking spaces and private school government funding.

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