EpiPens in Every Restaurant?
Why the food industry is wary of requiring EpiPens in every restaurant.
Putting an EpiPen in every restaurant would be a lifesaver, but some to not agree.
A recent motion to investigate mandatory stock of epinephrine at Toronto restaurants summary of the motion states:
“Given that the City of Toronto is home to over 8,000 restaurants and hundreds of other public facilities, it is worthwhile to investigate if the mandatory provision for epinephrine auto-injectors in restaurants and public facilities would enhance the safety of residents and visitors to our city.”
Unfortunately, the Licensing and Standards Committee voted to defer the motion indefinitely.
Despite the huge outpouring of public support letters in favour of the motion,, there were two very strongly opposed positions coming from the hospitality industry.
The most important take away from the initial motion is that as a community we haven’t even scratched the surface when it comes to educating the public about food allergies and epinephrine.
Assumptions that every single staff member in the restaurant would need to be educated like a paramedic so they could recognize symptoms of allergic reactions and administer EpiPens made this motion difficult for council to support.
A stock epinephrine and mandatory food allergy education program for the hospitality industry in the City of Toronto is the right thing to do.
It has huge benefits for the safety of the general public and increases public awareness of food allergies.
There is still a lot of work to be done. As a community we will move onwards and upwards from this and continue to educate others and correct untruths.
Restaurants are required to equip staff with proper food handling training, hairnets and cleaning supplies. One Toronto city councillor wants to add another requirement to that list: EpiPens.
Guarding against severe allergic reactions to food is a responsibility shared by patrons and restaurants. They are afraid a motion like this puts that responsibility all on the restaurant.