Food Safety Allergen Awareness
Food allergies affect millions of Americans and their families. They occur when the body's immune system reacts to certain proteins in food. These reactions range from relatively mild — hives and lip swelling for example — to severe, such as anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening respiratory problem.
The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) works to promote and provide food allergy awareness in food-service establishments and offers opportunities for food allergy training.
Under 23-20.12-2 of the General Assembly laws, RIDOH has a food allergy awareness program that requires that all food-service establishments shall:
- Have prominently displayed a poster approved by the RIDOH director relative to food allergy awareness in the staff area.
- Include on all menus a notice to customers of the customer’s obligation to inform the server about any food allergies.
- Designate a manager who shall be knowledgeable with regard to the relevant issues concerning food allergies as they relate to food preparation.
RIDOH has created a food allergen poster that can be displayed in staff areas. This poster is available in multiple languages (see links below). Rhode Island also requires food establishments to train staff on allergy awareness. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved Certified Food Safety Manager courses include a section on allergy awareness as part of the standard curriculum. If you would like an alternative course or just need more information on food allergies, below are courses designed for the food industry. RIDOH does not endorse or promote any individual business.