Hamilton has already made headlines for putting epinephrine auto injectors (EAIs) in malls. Now it's looking to roll out that program to 50 restaurants in Hamilton — as a step to getting them in all of them.
The city is looking for restaurants to be part of the program. Owners will spend about $200 on auto injectors to be part of the program. Food Allergy Canada staff will do the training.
"The end game is to eventually get this to all 2,000 restaurants, but we're starting with 50," said Lloyd Ferguson, Ward 12 councillor from Ancaster.
The expansion comes as the city is putting effort into reducing the number of food allergy-related deaths to zero — at least in local restaurants and food courts.
The efforts started after 12-year-old Maia Santarelli-Gallo of Stoney Creek collapsed and died in a Burlington mall in 2012. Two years ago, the city and the Ancaster Rotary AM club launched a pilot project where Jackson Square mall guards carry EpiPen and Allerject auto injectors in their belts.
So far, the guards haven't needed them much. But they're there in case someone needs it, the city says. And McMaster University is studying the results of the project. City councillors also voted last year to put EAIs in fire trucks, and try a peanut ban at four city facilities.
With this new expansion, restaurants will sign an agreement promising ongoing training for new staff. It will start with six restaurant chains, says a staff report approved by Hamilton's board of health Monday. The city won't monitor the restaurants for compliance.
The project won't impact Hamilton taxpayers since restaurants are buying their own EAIs, the report says.
City council will vote whether to ratify the decision on June 28.
In April, Windsor city councillors debated putting EAIs in city facilities, but decided it was a legal risk.