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Minimizing Allergy Risks in the Hotel Cocktail Lounge Environment

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by William E. Adams
California Lodging News
Spring 2016

William E. Adams’ article, “Minimizing Allergy Risks in the Hotel Cocktail Lounge Environment,” was published in the Spring 2016 issue of California Lodging News.

From the article…

"A rising percentage of Americans suffer from food-related allergies, and while efforts to warn of potential food allergies have become commonplace in restaurants, the issue gets surprisingly little attention in bars or lounges. Yet, the effect on business could be devastating to a lounge if word got out that a patron suffered a severe allergic reaction to one of its drinks. Even worse, the lounge could be held liable. Fortunately, bar and lounge owners can take steps to protect themselves from just such an outcome.

 In recent years, the food industry has recognized the need to mitigate allergy risks as the percentage of the population that suffers from food allergies has been on the rise. The FDA estimates that there are as many as 30,000 visits to the emergency room each year due to severe food allergies. The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis network estimates that between 150 and 200 Americans die every year because of allergic reactions to allergens contained in food.

 In response to this phenomenon, restaurant menus now frequently include warnings regarding foods containing nuts. Additionally, restaurant wait staff often ask, upon greeting a table, whether patrons have any food allergies. This same level of diligence is generally not practiced in the bar and cocktail lounge environment."

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