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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: November 15, 2023 12:19 PM
From: Representative Arvind Venkat
To: All House members
Subject: Food Allergy Legislation Package
More than 33 million Americans have food allergies, and this number is only increasing. It is estimated that food allergies lead to 200 deaths per year. Over a 13-year period, nearly half of fatal food allergy reactions were caused by food from a restaurant or other food service establishment. No Pennsylvanian should have to worry for their health and safety as they attempt to enjoy a night out to eat with their family.
Leading causes of allergic reactions in restaurants and other food establishments range from the customer not properly notifying the establishment of their allergy to cross-contamination. As it currently stands, restaurants and eating establishments are not required to present disclaimers on their menus, install educational posters regarding food allergies in cooking areas, or train their employees in food allergy safety.
To address the issue of food allergy safety in restaurants, I will be introducing the Food Allergy Legislation Package which will mandate menu disclaimers, educational posters, and food allergy safety training. This package is a companion to identical legislation shortly to be introduced in the State Senate by Senator Schwank. Similar legislation has been enacted in a variety of states including Texas, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this vital package of legislation to reduce the social stigma and anxiety faced by people with food allergies and make our Commonwealth’s restaurants safer, more welcoming places.

Document #1

Introduced as HB1869

Description: This legislation will require the Department of Health to create a food allergy awareness program with associated materials and for restaurants to designate a manager with knowledge of food allergies and according preparation.

Document #2

Description: This legislation will require the Department of Health to create a poster on food allergies for display within restaurants and for a notification disclaimer to be placed on menus for customers to advise restaurant staff of their relevant food allergies.