Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal this month signed a bill into law that makes events safer for attendees with food allergies. It allows places of public accommodation — restaurants, hotels and convention centers, for example — to stock epinephrine auto-injectors. These public places can already stock cardiac defibrillators.
Epinephrine is the medication used to treat the life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.
According to Convention Industry Council data, meeting planners annually spend more than $54 billion on F&B at 1.8 million events nationwide. The figures include corporate, nonprofit, association and government meetings.
Some figures to consider: An estimated 9 million American adults have food allergies. And, almost 50 percent of those who have allergic reactions in any given year have consumed food outside their homes.
The Georgia law protects individuals with undiagnosed allergies as well as those with diagnosed allergies who might not carry epinephrine. It also provides Good Samaritan immunity for trained individuals who aren’t doctors and nurses to administer the drug in good faith.
The next time you have an event in Georgia, see if your venue has taken advantage of the new law.