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NJ Town Proposes Law To Make Restaurants Label Potential Allergens In Food

August 04, 2018 - 3:19 pm
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EDISON, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- New Jersey town is proposing a tough new law, possibly the nation’s toughest, to label potential allergens in restaurants.

Edison Township Councilman Sam Joshi introduced the ordinance which would require thousands of establishments in the town and surrounding area to rework their menus and label all allergens for every dish and beverage they serve.

Joshi says 30 percent of families in the area have members who are allergic to milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soybeans and more.

Under the proposed bill, Joshi said the restaurants “only have to produce or have one menu.” Patrons with allergies can then ask for that special menu for a breakdown of their food.

The Center for Disease Control says food allergies are up 50 percent in the last 20 years, and the consequences of eating the wrong thing can be deadly.

Now, restaurant owners are concerned about the time and costs of producing new menus.

“It’s really just a couple hours worth of work and probably $5 to $10 to print it out,” Joshi explained.

Hundreds of commenters on NJ.com are praising the move, but others call it “nanny state overboard.”

Lawmakers will vote on the proposal later this month.