On November 1, 2016, the Montgomery County council unanimously passed legislation that requires restaurants in Montgomery County to have at least one qualified employee – an employee who has completed a required food allergy safety course – working at all times times that food is being served.
Enforcement of the new law will start a month from now on July 1, 2017, for all Montgomery County, Maryland restaurants.
The new law was a result of the tireless efforts of activists and concerned citizens who felt that restaurants in the county could do more to protect Montgomery county residents with food allergies and make it easier for everyone to dine out safely.
Over 15 million Americans live with food allergies. The most common allergies include: dairy (milk) allergy, egg allergy, peanut allergy, tree nut allergies, fish allergy, shellfish allergy, soy allergy, and wheat allergy.
Food allergies are dangerous as they can result in anaphylaxis, and even death.
For their safety, individuals with such allergies may be required by their doctor to have access to epinephrine at all times (in case of an emergency). Many people who need this life-saving medicine, either don’t know they need it, or don’t have access to it. That’s why a requirement like this is so important. Prevention is the best medicine in the case of food allergies.
As allergists in Montgomery County Maryland, Alpha Allergy & Asthma Associates welcomes the adoption of this new training requirement.
We hope to contribute to greater food allergen awareness and safety in our community, in partnership with local restaurant owners, as we continue to serve adults and children in our community who have food allergies.