Acting Locally: County Requires Food Allergy Safety Training for Restaurant Employees

The Council of Montgomery County, Maryland unanimously passed legislation this week requiring all restaurants to have at least one employee who has completed an approved allergy safety course working at all times while food is being served. The legislation takes effect in July.

Hans Riemer, the council member that sponsored the bill, said the change will make a “profound difference” in the comfort level of families with members who suffer from severe food allergies.

“There are thousands of residents who have severe food allergies for whom eating something to which they are allergic can be life-threatening,” Riemer said.

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The county’s Department of Health and Human Services – tasked with providing restaurants a list of approved courses – identified training courses by AllerTrain costing $19 for a one-hour online training course and $69 for a three-hour course.

Over a dozen residents submitted testimony urging the council to pass the bill, while the Restaurant Association of Maryland, which represents 2000 eateries in the state, said it did not oppose the legislation.

The effort and resulting legislation show that food allergy activism practiced locally can foster significant changes where it counts the most: close to home.

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We hope to highlight more such efforts in future articles under the “Acting Locally” headline. Write us and let us know about your efforts to make life safer and provide more choices for food allergy families in your community.

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