Toronto Council supports Restaurants Canada push to keep EpiPens voluntary

Published April 20, 2017

After hearing from Restaurants Canada, Toronto City Council has decided against making epinephrine injectors (commonly known as EpiPens) mandatory in restaurants. Toronto paramedics also supported our position.

Our members want to provide customers with a great dining experience in the safest environment possible. We support those restaurants that voluntarily offer epinephrine injectors, but see difficulties for both businesses and customers in making them mandatory.

In our presentation to the City committee, we raised these issues:

• Liability for operators – Good Samaritan legislation protects an establishment that voluntarily provides assistance, but if this assistance is mandatory, it’s not clear if the protection remains.

• Epinephrine injectors expire – Keeping tabs on expiry dates, both for the City and restaurants, is challenging, especially as it’s unlikely that a restaurant-supplied injector would be used.

• Training issues – A simple, low-cost and highly effective program would have to be developed.

• Costs – Lack of clarity on who bears the costs. Restaurateurs already operate on razor-thin margins, so any additional costs would be difficult to absorb.

• Responsibility – Managing food allergies is a shared responsibility, and allergy sufferers should have their injectors with them at all times. This responsibility shouldn’t be transferred to the small business.

Log on to the Member Portal to read our full submission.

Resources for members
Restaurants Canada has partnered with EpiPen and Food Allergy Canada to develop a guide that helps members safely respond to customers with allergies. Get the guide.

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