Bills to Address Food Allergies Pass Assembly Committee on Consumer Protection

MADISON – Today, the Assembly Committee on Consumer Protection passed a pair of bills authored by Representatives Pat Snyder (R-Schofield) and Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) that would reduce the risk of exposure to allergens to consumers with food allergies. Assembly Bills 240 and 241 (AB 240 and AB 241) require certain retail food establishments to display posters with information about how staff should handle food allergies and would require a statement on menus instructing customers to inform staff of any food allergies.

“AB 240 ensures that restaurant staff know what to do if a customer informs them of a food allergy and what steps to take if a customer does experience an anaphylactic reaction,” said Subeck.  “AB 241 not only provides guidance to customers but also serves as a reminder to servers about the necessity of communicating food allergy information.”

According to FARE, Food Allergy Research and Education, an estimated 32 million people in the United States have food allergies, including 5.6 million children. Each year in the United States, 200,000 people require emergency treatment for food-related allergic reactions.

“As someone with severe food allergies, I know firsthand how important it is that the food service industry takes these allergies seriously and that employees in this industry fully understand how to deal with such allergies,” said Subeck.  “Though food allergies cannot be cured, we can help mitigate their impact by reducing the risk of exposure, potentially even saving lives.”

The bills have already passed the Senate Committee on Local Government, Small Business, Tourism and Workforce Development and may now be scheduled for a vote in either house.