5 Ways Public Facilities May Have to Accommodate Patrons With Food Allergies
Food allergies can cause symptoms ranging from an irritating rash to anaphylactic shock.
Here are five ways places of public facilities may have to accommodate your food allergy:
1. Allowing Outside food. Allowing in a small amount of outside food for personal consumption may be a reasonable accommodation. If you plan on going to a local restaurant, but there’s nothing available on the menu, you may be able to bring in a small amount of outside food for personal consumption. Calling ahead may make the experience go more smoothly.
2. Answering Questions. A restaurant or facility may have an obligation to answer questions from diners about menu item ingredients, where the ingredients are known.
3. Omitting Ingredients. If possible, omitting or substituting certain ingredients upon request may be a reasonable accommodation.
4. Reseating Diners. If a restaurant serves a type of food that is airborne (i.e. peanuts), reseating a diner with an allergy to be away from patrons eating the dangerous food may be a reasonable accommodation.
5. Perform an Individual Assessment. As with any disability, it is important that a public facility perform an “individualized assessment” of the needs of the person with a disability. A public facility may not simply ignore a request by a patron with a disability. Given this requirement, it is important that restaurants train food service and university staff about food allergy-related issues.
If you have experienced discrimination on the basis of your disability, you may be able to recover damages. If you have questions about your rights, you should speak with an attorney.
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