First calories, now allergies?
Councilman David Greenfield is proposing legislation that would require all New York City restaurants and catering halls to put up posters letting customers know if they use ingredients in foods that trigger allergic reactions.
“It would simply state we either have these ingredients or we don’t have these ingredients,” Greenfield told CBS 2′s Elise Finch on Wednesday. “And that way, people with allergies – literally hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers – would be safe when they went out to eat.”
Managers at Manhattan’s Insomnia Cookies prominently display warnings that their products contain ingredients some people are allergic to.
“It’s store policy. We deal with a lot of school kids so they have allergies to all kinds of stuff, so we want to make sure that they are aware and don’t get sick ’cause of us,” Insomnia’s Ryan Rinkel said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, eight ingredients account for 90 percent of all food allergies. They are: peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, shellfish, milk, soy and wheat.
“There are other things people are allergic to but this would cover most patients,” said Dr. Nathanael Horne of Allergy & Asthma Medical P.C.
Andrew Moesel, spokesman for the New York State Restaurant Association, told Finch his members are not open to another piece of legislation.
“Every day restaurants in NYC are concerned about what’s coming down the pipe next,” Moesel said. “Is it going to be salt? Is it going to be butter? Now we have to worry about putting up signs for allergies. By and large people are not getting sick in NYC restaurants, and legislation like this only makes people worry about a problem that really doesn’t exist.”
Everyone will have a chance to voice their concerns before the bill is voted on, Finch reported.
It will take six to 12 months for this food allergy bill to go through the legislative process.
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