Food Allergy Legislation- Montgomery County, MD

Montgomery County restaurants are preparing for a new mandate that goes into effect on July 1st, 2017. This mandate requires one person at all times to be trained in allergy safety through an ANSI accredited course.  The safety of diners in Montgomery County, Maryland is being supported and as of July 1st those with food allergies can rest assured that measures are being taken to further enhance their dining experience!

AllerTrain by Menutrinfo offers a suite of courses available both online and through live training. While some small businesses only need 1-2 people trained and can do so online, others have multiple people and have the option of scheduling a live trainer to come to their facility and train their whole team in one class! Easy enough, but let’s clarify more: what is this mandate, who is getting trained, how are people responding and what are my options?

What is the mandate?
Bill 33-16 states that all Montgomery County restaurants or food service establishments need at least one allergy certified employee on premises during all business hours. Not all employees need the certification but multiple establishments are opting to train their whole staff.  The benefit of full- staff training is to avoid any cases of promoting within to staff members who don’t have the certification and also to avoid any issues where those trained are called away from the premise during business hours.

The whole goal of the mandate is to help alleviate any stress and difficulty in safe dining for those affected by food allergies. All those who dine should feel safe and comfortable dining out and this mandate helps protect those diners.

Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia and Michigan have all passed similar laws and every day more are following the trend.

Who is getting trained?
Country clubs, fast food chains, grocery stores with food service, hotels, restaurants (both big and independent), ice cream shops, etc. The list goes on but everyone is jumping on board to ensure safety and to meet the mandate.

What is the response?
The response has been overwhelmingly positive! The word anaphylaxis is not so foreign anymore. People are acknowledging the severity at which food allergies affect diners. New and unique allergies are being brought up during the course of training and are no longer taboo to talk about.  Scary and confusing situations are discussed and preventative measures become not so daunting.

Many of those getting trained have allergies themselves. Emergency procedures that are often overlooked in training are being explained to food service professionals in a way that makes sense, and assures safety to diners. The classes are designed to get the conversation started and give tools to people who will be the “first responders” to a food allergy reaction. Awareness is key and many people are excited and confident in their dining options now that Montgomery County made their needs important.

What are my options?
Training options are abundant thanks to AllerTrain by Menutrinfo! Online courses are offered and live trainers are available to offer training at your location! AllerTrain and AllerTrain Lite BOTH meet the requirements put forth by Montgomery County and are both available to be taught by a live trainer.

AllerTrain is a full manager level course that takes 2 hours, comes with a workbook and a 30 question exam. This course goes in depth about allergies, intolerances, sensitivities, celiac disease, legislation, back of house, front of house and emergency procedures. With 8 sections and a case study it’s structured and user friendly.

AllerTrain Lite is a mini version of the full course that takes 45 minutes and includes a 12 question exam. This course is a condensed version of the full AllerTrain course and has 6 sections. It’s designed for anyone in the food service industry and also meets the mandate.

BOTH courses meet the mandate, BOTH courses give participants a certification for 5 years and BOTH courses are available online as well as through live training.

With all of these options getting trained is accessible and simple. As a restaurant professional in Montgomery County you have the power to ensure safe dining and now is the time! Call today with questions or to go over your options.

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