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  • Acts
  • 2008
  • Chapter 527 AN ACT RELATIVE TO FOOD ALLERGY AWARENESS IN RESTAURANTS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:

SECTION 1. Chapter 140 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 6 the following section:-

Section 6B. (a) As used in this section, the word “department” shall mean the department of public health.
(b) A person licensed as an innholder or common victualler, when serving food, shall:
(1) prominently display in the staff area a poster approved by the department relative to food allergy awareness. The poster shall include, but not be limited to, information regarding the risk of an allergic reaction and shall be developed by the department in consultation with the Massachusetts Restaurant Association and the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network; and
(2) include on all menus a notice to customers of the customer’s obligation to inform the server about any food allergies, the language of the notice shall be developed by the department in consultation with the Massachusetts Restaurant Association and the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.
(c) A person in charge and certified food protection manager, as those terms are used in the state sanitary code for food establishments, in order to obtain certification, shall view, as part of an otherwise approved food protection manager course, a video concerning food allergies. The department shall approve the video in collaboration with the Massachusetts Restaurant Association and the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. A person designated as an alternate person-in charge, as that term is used in the state sanitary code for food establishments, in addition to existing requirements, shall be knowledgeable with regard to the relevant issues concerning food allergies as they relate to food preparation.
(d) A violation of this section shall be subject to the remedies available under the state sanitary code for food establishments.
(e) The department may adopt regulations to carry out this section.
(f) This section shall not establish or change a private cause of action nor change a duty under any other statute or the common law, except as this section expressly provides.
(g) The department shall develop a program for restaurants to be designated as “Food Allergy Friendly” and shall maintain a listing of restaurants receiving that designation on its website. Participation in the program shall be voluntary and the department, in consultation with the Massachusetts Restaurant Association and the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, shall issue guidelines and requirements for restaurants to receive the designation; provided that the requirements shall include, but not be limited to, maintaining on the premises and making available to the public, a master list of all the ingredients used in the preparation of each food item available for consumption.

SECTION 2. On or before November 1, 2011, the department of public health, in consultation with the Massachusetts Restaurant Association and the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, shall submit a report to the joint committee on community development and small business and the clerks of the senate and the house of representatives, which shall include analysis of the impact of this act. The report shall include, but not be limited to, the scope of compliance of restaurants with section 6B of chapter 140 of the General Laws, and proposed changes to the law consistent with the public health and welfare.

SECTION 3.
Clause (2) of subsection (b) of section 6B of chapter 140 of the General Laws shall take effect on January 1, 2010.

Approved January 15, 2009