Maryland roundup

by Walter Olson on March 8, 2014

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Maryland roundup - Overlawyered
04.06.14 at 7:30 am

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1 Richard Nieporent 03.08.14 at 2:21 pm

The second item also deserves a truly awful designation. The proposed law would require that a restaurant, and not the customer, ask about any known food allergens as if they were dispensing some dangerous substance. Then it would require the restaurant to have someone present who had completed a food allergen awareness training course. I though that this requirement would be burdensome. However, it turns out that for only $10 you can get certificate though online training.

http://www.berkshireahec.org/page.php?PageID=2636&PageName=MA+Food+Allergen+Certification+Training

And you can’t just fake it. “Upon completion of the training video [Note: you must watch the video to its end, meaning through the credits to get to the required check off saying you have viewed the video] you will receive a certificate by postal service within 10 days.”

Obviously all it takes is to view the video to become an expert on food allergens. Why are they offering this course? They are doing it because Massachusetts has beaten Maryland to the punch. They have required that this training be done since February 2011.

The MA allergy training video provides current information about food allergies and celiac disease-related food intolerance, including but not limited to the major food allergens; celiac disease and the food intolerances that it produces; symptoms of allergic reactions and celiac disease-related reactions to food; and procedures that restaurants should follow in educating customers about food allergies and celiac disease and steps that restaurants, inns, bed & breakfasts, caterers, should take if a customer has an allergic or celiac disease-related reaction to food.

It appears that Raskin and Hixson are just copying the existing Massachusetts law.

2 Paul McKaskle 03.09.14 at 3:06 pm

So, a mom and pop restaurant has to have a health expert on hand to advise customers? There are two good hot dog places near my home, one has one person on duty and the other has two. I guess they’ll have to get training (and since they operate longer hours, they have more staff–but just one or two at a time.)

What about Spanish speakers, will the “advisor” have to be bi-lingual? (or tri-lingual,in areas with many Chinese)? Will this discriminate against Latinos who speak very little English–enough to handle orders but not enough to give medical advice?

If the advice turns out to be inaccurate for any reason, what is the potential for a “medical” malpractice claim?

I foresee lots of attorney fees being racked up somewhere down the line.

3 Tango One 03.09.14 at 6:31 pm

I foresee lots of attorney fees being racked up somewhere down the line.

Which is, of course, the whole idea.

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