MK Yinon Azulai (Shas) has submitted a bill stipulating that every restaurant will be required to have an 'EpiPen' epinephrine syringe containing for the provision of first aid to allergy sufferers, as part of the conditions for obtaining a business license.
ML Azulai submitted the bill following the shocking incident at a meat restaurant in Rosh Pina last week in which a young woman died after suffering an allergic reaction to milk.
The explanatory memorandum to the bill states that, on average, two deaths occur in Israel each year due to food allergies and other cases of complications occur with varying degrees of severity.
The most severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis, can cause severe breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness and even death. This reaction is sometimes immediate, and may appear immediately after exposure to the allergen (or ten to 20 minutes after exposure).
his severe reaction can be treated with an EpiPen, a syringe containing epinephrine) The injection into the thigh relaxes the respiratory muscles and constricts the blood vessels, allowing the patient to remain alive until receiving treatment at the hospital. This is a life-saving operation that must be performed in the field, immediately, as the deterioration of allergy symptoms to a state of suffocation and death may continue within a few minutes.
Despite awareness among allergy sufferers and the need to carry an epinephrine syringe, allergy sufferers are still at risk, especially when eating out, in cafes and restaurants. The problem is caused due to the fact that the allergic person is not always aware of all the ingredients in the food being served to him. There are known cases in which people have developed an allergic reaction due to eating in a restaurant, and several of these cases have resulted in death.
As part of eating at a restaurant there is a danger that due to a mistake or lack of knowledge, the allergy sufferer will be exposed to an ingredient that endangers his health and even his life. The presence of an epinephrine syringe in places of catering ensures the safety of allergy sufferers in emergencies.
In light of this, the bill seeks to mandate that all places of catering have EpiPens handy in order to receive a business license to operate, This would allow for the immediate treatment of people suffering allergic reactions and avoid preventable deaths.