Food Allergy Awareness Act

Common Food Allergies (Shellfish, Nuts, Milk, Bread, Eggs, Fish)In January 2009, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law the Food Allergy Awareness Act. This Act is designed to minimize the risk of illness and death due to accidental food allergens by increasing awareness. It is estimated the 12 million people in the United States have food allergies. This is a state wide mandate in Massachusetts.

By October 1, 2010 all food service establishments must:

  • Post a consumer menu notice on printed menus, takeout menus as well as posted menu boards. A clear and conspicuous notice on the previously mentioned menus will need to state:
    "Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy."

The notice must be worded exactly in this manner, with no variations.

Other options for compliance with the menu notice are:

  • Affix a white or a clear sticker with this notice to the menus
  • Provide posters (placards) at all cash registers (at point of sale) with this notice typed with size 17 font or greater

By October 1, 2010 all food service establishments must:

  • Post an allergen awareness poster visible for all employees at least 8.5in. by 11in. and in color that is approved by the Department.

Peanuts and Other NutsDownload and print a copy of the Allergen Awareness Poster (PDF).

By February 1, 2011 all food service establishments must have on staff a certified food protection manager who has been issued a Massachusetts certificate of allergen awareness training by an allergen awareness training verification program recognized by the Department of Public Health. The Department of Public Health has yet to release the certification programs that will be available to comply with this part of the regulation. We will provide this information as soon as it becomes available.

For some answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Allergen Awareness Act (PDF).

Register a Complaint

To register a complaint, please call 508-821-1400 so that your issue can be addressed in a timely manner.