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Restaurants may have to keep adrenalin pen for customers undergoing allergic reactions

June 29, 2014 17:11

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation approves bill presented by MK Yifat Kariv (Yesh Atid).

Claro restaurant

The new Claro restaurant in the Tel Aviv’s new Sarona Compound was a delightful surprise. (photo credit:JERUSALEM POST)

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved on Sunday a bill that would require all restaurants and other dining establishments to have on hand an epinephrine autoinjector for people with severe and even fatal allergies to food.

Only last week, a 15-year-old boy with an allergy to milk died after eating a pizza.

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A few years ago, a young woman died after eating crepes with a nut chocolate syrup on it after a waitress assured her that there were no nuts in it. An EpiPen on the premises could have saved their lives.

The bill, this time presented by MK Yifat Kariv (Yesh Atid), was presented several times before but was not approved.

Kariv’s bill was approved in advance by relevant ministries.

Other foods that can cause several reactions in some people are eggs, soy, peanuts, wheat, sesame seeds, fish, celery, mustard and lupine. About 5 percent of the population suffer from serious food allergies.

The EpiPen can be injected easily even by a layman and halt the potentially fatal allergic reaction that can cause the trachea to swell up and prevent air from entering. The chemical relaxes the muscles in the respiratory system as well as relaxing the contraction of blood vessels.

People with severe allergies should carry the injectable pen with them, but they sometimes forget, and they are not always aware of what “forbidden” food is in the meal served.

Kariv’s own son, who is now 16-years-old and allergic to milk, ate a meat dish in school that, without his knowledge, contained milk. He was hospitalized in serious condition when his body reacted to the milk, but fortunately he survived.

Awareness of food allergies is high in the Western world, said Kariv, but not in Israel, where people die unnecessarily
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