You may have seen recent posts showing food establishments that display signs warning individuals with food allergies to stay away. They generally state in no uncertain terms that allergens are used in the kitchen and allergy sufferers will not be safely accommodated.
Signs like these have proliferated in the wake of increased litigation by people who have suffered severe reactions to foods that management claimed would be safe for their allergies. Rather than step up and put procedures in place to ensure the safety of diners, these establishments have gone the other way, preferring to rudely exclude patrons rather than accommodate them.
Insensitive? Yes! Illegal? Maybe. But let’s cut through the outrage and get to the heart of the matter.
Until legislation is in place that mandates all restaurant personnel receive food allergy training and procedures be put in place to prevent cross-contact, some eateries will opt to engage in this kind of reprehensible conduct. Let’s take the time to remind our legislators that food allergies are a disability and we expect disabilities to be accommodated in public places, period, full-stop.
In the meantime, those signs clearly mark the establishments behind them as caring more about litigation than safety. They instruct us to avoid them for the safety of ourselves and our loved ones and clearly identify those establishments as exclusionary.
The next time you come across a business bearing such a sign, take a few minutes to stop in to speak with the manager. Let them know that you and your entire circle are disgusted with their practice, will heed their warnings, and will instead patronize their more accommodating competitor down the street.
Nothing speaks louder to a business than money passing by on the way to the competition.