Requiring Restaurants to have Allergy Menus
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Fifteen million people have food allergies in the United States according to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE). Every three minutes in the United States a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency department; That is about 200,000 emergency department visits per year. Every six minutes the reaction is one of anaphylaxis making it very dangerous or even deadly for them to eat at restaurants.*
I know firsthand how difficult it is to eat at restaurants with a food allergy. When I was one, I was diagnosed with a severe food allergy and had a horrible reaction to egg. My lip blew up like a balloon, I had hives all over my body and had trouble breathing. Ever since then, I have been exposed to eggs several times do to servers not realize certain foods had egg in them. Without an allergy menu, some servers try to guess the ingredients or tell me I can't eat anything at all.
Some restaurants do a great job providing allergy menus to their customers including Olive Garden, Chili’s and Red Robin. While these restaurants understand the importance of providing their customers a safe dining experience, many others have not made this a priority.
I am now 14 years old and believe something should be done to address this issue not only for myself but for the other 15 million people with food allergies. Stores are required by law to include the ingredient list on food, and yet, no such law currently exists that requires restaurants to have an allergy menu.
We need a law that will help Americans suffering from a food allergy be able to eat safely with their families at restaurants without the constant worry if the food they eat will make them sick or die.
Please consider signing this petition to urge our elected leaders to pass a law that requires all restaurants and other food establishments that serve prepared food to provide their customers an allergy menu.
*according to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)
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