Foodservice Equipment Reports

Massachusetts Allergy Law Takes Effect

A first of its kind state law took effect last October in Massachusetts. It requires restaurants to post notices on their menus, asking customers to tell their server if anyone in their party has a food allergy. The law also requires hanging a poster in staff areas detailing food allergy information.

Phase two of the law kicked in last month. It requires at least one manager at a restaurant to undergo online training in dealing with food allergens and earn a certificate of completion from the state. Local health boards have added food allergy requirements to the list of items they check for during inspections.

The new rules stem from a January 2009 state law aimed at minimizing illness and death among people with major food allergies. The menu and poster requirements went into effect first to raise allergy awareness and encourage servers and customers to discuss allergies immediately. The training component took longer to kick in to give regulators time to create a training video.

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