Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, Food Allergy Counselor (Picture © Noel Malcolm 2013)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

NYC Council Expected to Pass Lappin Bill

UPDATE: "Bill passed at the (very delayed) meeting yesterday by a vote of 46-2."

Here's NY1 video of press conference.

Literally hot off the email press, the New York City Council just informed me that this bill is expected to pass this afternoon! I'm thrilled! One step closer to safety for everyone!

(Below is the press release)

Council to pass life saving measure for food-allergic New Yorkers: Lappin bill would increase awareness among food preparers and handlers

For the average New Yorker a simple mistake by a waiter is an inconvenience. If you order decaf and the waiter brings you regular, it might keep you up all night. However, for the 300,000 New Yorkers who suffer from food allergies, a similar mistake could be fatal.

At today’s meeting, the City Council is expected to pass Council Member Jessica Lappin’s legislation that will require restaurants and other food service establishments to display a poster that provides important food allergy information to their staff.

“This is literally a life or death issue for millions of Americans,” Lappin said. “We need to make sure that food preparers in New York City understand the dangers and how to prevent fatal attacks. Deaths from food allergies are preventable if people are educated. This bill would help do that.”

Despite the importance of education in preventing food allergy reactions, a survey conducted by the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in 2007 found that of the 100 restaurant managers, chefs, and servers they surveyed, only 42 percent had received any food allergy education. Twenty four percent thought that it is safe to consume small amounts of an allergen; 25 percent thought that removing problem foods—like nuts or shrimp—from a finished dish would make it safe; and 35 percent believed that fryer heat destroys allergens.

The poster, which will be available in multiple languages, will highlight the most common food allergens, as well as provide information about how to avoid cross contamination and what signs to look for to identify an allergic reaction. The poster will be displayed in a conspicuous location that is visible to food preparers and food handlers.

“This is a small and simple thing we can do, but it has the potential to save lives,” Council Member Lappin said.

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5 comments:

Alisa said...

congratulations! That is awesome.

zia said...

Yay! Go New York! I feel somewhat lucky to live in a state where "special diets" are all the rage, allergies or not, and it's considered cool and normal to make special requests. I imagine New York isn't anything like the pushover Oregon is. ;) Congrats on the victory!

Kelly said...

awesome...very exciting news.

Parry Particulars said...

I am SOOOO happy to read this! It's a victory of all of us, even if we don't live in NYC.

Eli Harris said...

I read your blog all the time as I have a child who is allergic to peanuts/treenuts/seafood/shellfish/cats/grass. He has asthma and excema as well. Though I live in Missouri and our allergic friendly restaurants are few and far between, we have found several that we know are safe for us, but even at that, we tend to eat at home more than go out. This weekend we had my daughter's 6th birthday party and though we requested the guests bring a book to be donated to my daughters school, we had a few girls who still brought gifts. One such gift was a doll called "Yummi-land Sunday Pop Girls". They come in a soda bottle with lip gloss. I thought nothing of the toy even though I saw the flavor of the girl was nutty sundae. One of the neighbor girls pointed out the allergy warning on the back. Now, my son only seems to have issues if he ingests nuts, not just to touch them. But we still keep him from all possible nuts, tree nuts, and even products process in a plant with nuts. I just though that other people who are moms or other people who buy gifts for children, might want to know that its not just food they have to watch. My son could easily get ahold of this lipgloss or even put the doll in his mouth (he is 2) and have a reaction. So anyone who is buying something for an allergic child or a child who lives in a family with an allergic child, be caution that even the toy, the lipgloss, the shampoo, or bubble bath might be an issue. Thanks for doing what you do to educate! Its wonderful and you should definitly be commended!!!!

Jen Harris
Kansas City Missouri