Most restaurants in the U.S. have ingredient lists available for its patrons, but many of them do not take other steps that could reduce the risk of food allergic reactions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Why is that significant?

Food allergies affect an estimated 15 million people in the U.S. Some 30,000 of them are serious enough to send people to hospital emergency departments each year. Food allergies cause 150-200 deaths annually.

More than half of fatal food allergy reactions occur in restaurants or other food service establishments. In fact, 1 in 3 people with food allergies have had a reaction in a restaurant.

The CDC’s Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net) study found that restaurants can reduce the risk of allergic reactions by:

  • Providing food allergy training for staff.
  • Using dedicated equipment and areas for preparing and cooking meals for customers with food allergies.
  • Having ingredient lists or recipes for menu items available if they aren’t already.

Learn More

Read the plain language summary of this study.

Check out the full article about this study in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

New CDC food allergy study: Most restaurants have ingredient lists but do not train staff or have dedicated equipment.