by Kelsey MillerThe Daily Record Newswire
(April 12, 2013) Restaurant staff throughout Maryland would be required to become more knowledgeable about the risks associated with food allergies under a measure approved by the General Assembly.
The legislation addresses a growing health concern in the country, one that affects 15 million nationwide who have food allergies, according to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.
House Bill 9 requires Maryland restaurants, by March 2014, to post information in their kitchens about the risks of allergic reactions and other consequences from the presence of certain allergens or cross-contamination.
The legislation also creates a task force to study food allergies in the state, with representatives from the General Assembly, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, county health officials and the Restaurant Association of Maryland, among other groups.
The task force would focus on food safety training for restaurants, examining inspection practices and reviewing current food allergy education materials.
If signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley, the legislation would go into effect Oct. 1, and would require the task force to report its findings by January 2014.