HARRISBURG (KDKA) - Two new bills in Harrisburg are hoping to promote food safety at restaurants across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Pa. State Representative Arvind Venkat from Allegheny County introduced two bills - one requiring the health department to create a food allergy awareness program that would require restaurant employees to be educated about common food allergies.
"Nearly 50 percent of deaths caused by food allergies occurred at restaurants," Rep. Venkat said. "To prevent such deaths, we must improve food safety at restaurants by increasing awareness about food allergies and ensuring restaurants have staff available with the necessary knowledge to avoid cross-contamination, and asking customers to notify restaurants about any food allergies they may have."
A second bill would ask restaurants to include possible allergens on their menus, as well as encourage wait staff to ask customers about any allergy concerns.
The two bills were introduced as a companion to two bills introduced by a Berks County Pennsylvania Senator, Judy Schwank, both related to food safety.
"Every Pennsylvanian deserves the ability to enjoy a night at a restaurant without worrying about coming into contact with an item that could compromise their health and safety," Sen. Schwank said. "One in 10 adults in the U.S. has experienced a severe reaction caused by a food allergy. The Food Allergy Legislation Package that I am introducing with Rep. Venkat will add potentially life-saving guardrails and provide customers and food service workers with the information they need to reduce the risk of severe food allergy reactions in Pennsylvania."
You can read the full legislation on the Pa. House of Representatives website at this link.
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