Food-Allergy Law Enacted; Most Area Restaurants to Close
By Fred Furnace
Published August 9th, 2015
Hives are a common food allergy symptom.
ALBANY – The much-ballyhooed ‘Equal Access to Restaurants’ law went into effect here Saturday, making the dining out experience sweeter for customers but leaving some restaurant owners gagging.
The law requires restaurants to offer menu selections that “accommodate all customers,” including those with food allergies or “food lifestyle preferences.”
“Gluten. Tree nuts. Dairy: For overly educated mothers and their naturally gifted children, these items are now believed to be silent killers,” said Jana Worm, chair of the State Department of Picky Eaters. “And this demographic has clout, thanks to their prominence on Facebook and propensity to post articles detailing the evils of wheat gluten and genetically modified corn.”
Several area residents, including Erin McShae-Doppledorf – a mother of a naturally gifted son with an alleged gluten sensitivity – celebrated the new law as "a major advance for weak children."
Under the legislation, violations can lead to fines, closures and possible jail time.
Art D’Blanco, owner of Artie’s Pizza Palace on Central Avenue, said he’ll be forced to close his shop because of the new law.
“A lady came in and ordered a pizza, but then said her kid is gluten-free, dairy-free and allergic to tomatoes,” D’Blanco said. “She also requested organic, locally sourced and non-GMO ingredients. I barely understood a goddamn word she was saying.”
“Basically, she wanted a pizza without dough, sauce or cheese,” he continued. “When I couldn’t deliver, they closed my shop for two days, fined me $1,000 and threw me in jail.”
D’Blanco isn’t the only one shutting down. According to the Albany Restaurant Association, 89 percent of all area restaurants will close within the next month.
“There is a salad joint in Crossgates that may survive. And Starbucks, of course. They’re like cockroaches. You can’t kill them,” said ARA President Clapp Davis, “But everything else will need to close.”
The law is the first of its kind in the country.
Legal and political analysts contacted by the Smudge believe the law is “insane” and “possibly a sign of the apocalypse” but also “no surprise since most children these days are a bunch of sissies.”