students with food allergies

Food allergies a disability under the ADA

The law that passed in 2013 hoped to benefit a great
number of food allergic students and their families.  It's
not clear yet, but the goal is that will be easier to find
places where the student can eat and  significantly
reduce food related expenses. This could represent
savings of over $10,000 dollars for those attending
colleges where paying for food
meal plans is mandatory. Until now, many students had
to pay for
meal plans even when they knew that couldn't eat any of
the foods they served their college cafeterias.

With the new law students will not be required to pay for
meal plans
unless provisions are made to accommodate the
allergy, such as serving peanut free, egg free, or
gluten-free food choices.

How severe does the food or edible ingredient allergy
have to
be before the person is considered to have a disability
that qualifies
under the Americans with Disabilities Act?
Severe, not mild food allergies can be considered a
disability under the law.
The new law that now classifies severe food allergy as a
disability applies to
those severely allergic to gluten, peanuts, shell fish,
corn, wheat, and other
food allergens. What it translates to is of interest to
universities, colleges, and
other institutions to offer food allergy free foods and
display the ingredients used during food preparation
including putting signs on buffet bars.

This new law will give individuals who suffer from such
allergies the opportunity
to find foods that they could eat in venues where before
the risk of exposure made it impossible.   

Does the decision leave meal-plan type and public
eateries more exposed to customer legal challenges?
The decision leaves schools, restaurants and other
places that serve food more exposed to legal challenges.
The most vulnerable to law suits  will be public schools,
colleges, and universities places serving food on
campus.  Private and public company's employee
cafeterias and all public restaurant's could also be liable
for a lawsuit if the food service provider ignores a
persons request for certain foods.
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