Tyler-Tae Moore is one of the millions of Canadians who have a food allergy and it makes her hesitant to eat at restaurants with her family.
“I’m allergic to eggs, fish and nuts… Fish is really bad,” she said.
Moore has an EpiPen for when she has an allergic reaction but admits, she doesn’t always remember to bring it with her, which makes her mother, Judith Lindo-Moore, nervous.
“It is very scary. I always have to be careful whenever we are eating out. I have to be extremely careful,” Lindo-Moore said.
Councillor James Pasternak will be putting forward a motion to council asking city staff to come up with a report looking at the feasibility of putting EpiPens in restaurants and eateries.
“There are a growing number of Canadians with allergies – two-and-a-half million Canadians with at least one food allergy,” Pasternak said.
“It’s an important issue that the city of Toronto should get ahead of the curve.”
Dr. Mark Greenwald, a Toronto allergist, said 25 per cent of fatalities from anaphylaxis are from people who have not been previously diagnosed with allergies.
“You can’t fault those people for not having their epinephrine on them,” he said.
“If you had an EpiPen on site, it could save their lives.”
Restaurant owner George Kiriakou has his doubts about Pasternak’s proposal.
“There’s liability issues involved with this. How many people are going to be trained properly? What are the costs involved with carrying these EpiPens?” he said.
The approximate cost for an EpiPen is $120 and restaurants would be expected to supply the device in case of an emergency, Pasternak said.
“We would hope that the restaurants would pick up the cost,” he said.
“We would hope they would want to offer that safety mechanism to their customers like they would a fire extinguisher or a sprinkler system and they would help work with EMS and Toronto Fire to train their staff for delivering [these] injections.”
Lindo-Moore said she thinks the motion is a great idea and would help ease her mind when dining at restaurants with her daughter.
“It would be a good idea if they had something there because sometimes – by the 911 gets there – it can be very dangerous,” she said. “It can save lives.”
The motion is scheduled to go to city council this week.
“This is only to ask city staff for a report back. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. It’s just a research project,” Pasternak said.
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