Peacock Scholarship

Legislation for Americans with Food Allergies: The Need for Expansion in Accommodations, Labeling, Education, and Cross-contamination Laws

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Current legislation is inefficient for caring for the needs of individuals with disabilities, especially those with food allergies. Despite the fact that there are additional laws put in place since 2018, America is behind other countries including those in the European Union (E.U.) when it comes to identifying the major allergens that the general population face. While America recognizes 9 major allergens, the E.U. incorporates 14 in its ingredient labeling acts. Additionally, with the rise of internet food orders, the E.U. has implemented a system where food delivery professionals would state the allergens in the foods to the customer. (Yiannas, 2022) Also, the E.U. prompts for prominently displayed articles to be present in online menus where patrons may choose their food option. America does not adhere to either of these conditions when vending food to its customers on online platforms. (Bannister, 2022) Despite the annexation of recent laws, it is not adequate to accommodate the needs of persons with food allergies as hundreds die yearly from food allergy-triggered anaphylaxis. In fact, with the addition of these laws, restaurants possess an even greater duty of care now that they have possession of informational flyers in their staff and customer forum. Therefore, restaurants need to accommodate the needs of persons with food allergies within reason and they need to inform individuals about food allergens that they would not in ordinary circumstances know about. Restaurants bear this heightened duty of care to not cause harm to their invitees and under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the responsibility to properly accommodate reasonably for their customers’ food allergies. In this paper, I hope to identify the current legislation and highlight both areas where improvement can and should be addressed.

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  • 06/14/2022
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