Starting Feb. 1, every restaurant in Mass. will be forced to employ at least one “certified food protection manager.” Among the many duties to be assumed by the state-mandated food cops will be teaching fellow staff about “washing hands with soap and water and not hand sanitizer, and wiping food preparation areas, table tops and highchairs with commercial-strength cleaners.”
The most important task ahead, say proponents of the mandatory food safety initiative, is preventing patrons with food allergies from being poisoned or killed by their meals. The newly enlisted food protection managers will be responsible for personally serving every ‘special needs’ patron while teaching fellow servers and kitchen staff how to avoid contaminating plates with allergens.
“Restaurants are also encouraged to make simpler dishes by avoiding ingredients that hide allergens, like some mollusks and shellfish, barley and rye,” reports Boston’s WCVB-TV. “Currently, federal law does not require ‘minor’ allergens to be clearly listed on food labels.”
Got that? Thanks to the new law, chefs will be “encouraged” to alter their signature recipes that they’ve crafted for the vast majority of patrons who do not have food allergies.
Simply posting warnings on menus about potential food allergens contained in dishes would make too much sense and force those with food allergies to actually pay attention to what they choose to consume. This way, they can not be held responsible for getting sick — it’s the restaurants and chefs who will be blamed and sued for poisoning them. Talk about a ‘Happy Meal’ for trial lawyers!