Friday, September 4, 2009

Food Allergy Poster & Petition Update

Back in March I created an online petition to the City of Raleigh for a food allergen educational poster requirement for restaurants. The idea was to have a poster detailing the top 8 allergens (peanut, tree nuts, cow's milk, egg, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish) plus Gluten (wheat, barley, rye & oats) posted at each restaurant in the city in an effort to raise awareness of food allergies among kitchen staff. I believe a poster detailing what the major food allergies are along with common ingredients can go a long way in helping folks have safe meals.

Click here to see the original post & click here to see (and sign) the online petition if you have not already. There are currently 278 signatures on the petition - a huge thanks to everyone who is supporting this effort and leaving great comments. My goal was to present this idea to the Raleigh City Council once I received 300 signatures. It is now "Go Time".

I have officially filled out the request to appear before the Raleigh City Council on Tuesday, October 20th, 2009 at 1pm. I supplied a ton of supporting documentation about food allergies from (The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network - FAAN and Food Allergy Initiative - FAI) as well as items about Gluten allergies and those of us with Celiac Disease. I expect to speak before the council around 2pm that day - if you want to come out and support this effort, please feel free!

Here is where I need your help!
  1. Please sign the petition if you have not already. The more signatures on the petition when I go in front of the city leaders the better credibility we have as an organization.

  2. I am launching a contest for my readers to create the actual design of the food allergy education poster. There are some out there I have already found concerning the top 8 allergens but none include Gluten and none have that special Raleigh flavor. I know there are some great design folks out there - here is your chance to get your design in every restaurant in the city while helping those 12 million Americans (3 million children) along the way. Come up with a design, put it in .pdf format and email it to me. I will collect all entries and present them here on this blog for the readers to vote on to determine the winner. Please submit your design via email by Friday, October 16th at 12pm. Please include all the top 8 allergens plus Gluten on your poster with some details about each allergen and what kitchen workers should watch out for. Please also include a process restaurant staff should follow when they encounter someone with food allergies to ensure they can have an educated choice about a safe meal.
Let's keep our fingers crossed that this idea can become a reality and the citizens and visitors of Raleigh can make a huge step towards having safe meals at restaurants. Currently, New York city is the only place in the USA with this requirement. Let's make Raleigh the 2nd!


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