Legislation sponsored by NJ state assemblywoman Nancy J Pinkin and signed into law by Governor Chris Christie directs the Commissioner of Health to develop an informational sign promoting food allergen awareness for restaurants throughout the state.
The signs will be developed using information published by the US Food and Drug Administration in consultation with the NJ Restaurant Association and feature information regarding the most common allergens, the health-related consequences of food allergy, and best practices for food preparation and storage to prevent cross-contact.
The signs will be available to restaurants and local boards of health. Restaurants will be required to obtain and post the signs in their kitchens and other appropriate places.
The incidence of food allergy is skyrocketing with over 15 million Americans, 5.9 million of which are children, coping with the disease.
“It is for these reasons, it was important that we require a uniform process to educate restaurant staff on the importance of allergen information and how to keep their guests health in mind when handling certain food items that could cause a serious health risk,” said Pinkin.