Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan (D-Woodbury) stood with Casey Dubofsky and her mother Lindsay, the founders of Safe EATS, and Chris Fichera, general manager of Chris & Tony’s Restaurant, to announce a bill that would create an EpiPen pilot program throughout restaurants in Nassau County.
About 32 million Americans live with some sort of food allergy. Every three minutes, a food allergy reaction results in an emergency room visit. There are 4,100 restaurants in Nassau County and most of the restaurants do not have an EpiPen available for emergency use, thus forcing an individual experiencing anaphylactic shock to wait for emergency medical care from a paramedic or other means.
The proposed legislation would create an EpiPen pilot program, enabling the Nassau County Department of Health to purchase and distribute EpiPens to restaurants that participate in the program. The program will help encourage local restaurants that opt-in to keep EpiPens on site.
The bill will allow restaurants to then designate a person or persons of the restaurant staff to receive and successfully complete training in conformity with the state law to use the EpiPen. Having an EpiPen on restaurant premises may allow a family member or trained worker in the restaurant to administer a dose of epinephrine immediately, potentially saving lives.
“By creating a program that will grant restaurants EpiPen supplies as well as training, these businesses can keep their customers safe without having the responsibility to pay for or replace the EpiPens and therefore, protecting many people in our county who live with food allergies every day,” said Lafazan. “EpiPens are life-saving devices and therefore it is crucial to give restaurants the opportunity to be supplied with these life saving devices within their establishments.”
“As someone who has suffered from the threat of anaphylactic shock from my tree nut and fish allergies my entire life, and after having a life-threatening allergic reaction at a local restaurant at age 3, I am confident this program would finally offer me and others who suffer from food allergies peace of mind while eating out in local restaurants,” Casey Dubofsky said. “This program would be life-changing.”