Westchester County: Calories Count, Allergies Noticed

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Starting this month, there will be no more guessing the calorie counts or ingredients of foods sold in Westchester chain restaurants. It’s part of an effort to help people make healthier and safer food choices when they eat out.

Chain restaurants with at least 15 outlets must post the number of calories in all food and drinks they serve starting on Tuesday, May 12, and to emphasize the seriousness of food allergies, all eating establishments in Westchester must add an allergy notice to their menus and menu boards.

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Westchester County Executive Andy Spano, County Legislator Judy Myers, D-Mamaroneck, Board of Health President Dr. Douglas G.Aspros, and Health Commissioner Dr. Joshua Lipsman will roll out the menu makeover on Monday, May 11 at 10 a.m. at Cosi in New Rochelle.

Cosi regional vice president Bob Speirs will be on hand to explain how this has led to changes in what their customers order and in what they serve. Allergist Dr. Kira Geraci-Ciardullo and several of her patients will talk about food allergies and how this legislation can help them when they eat out.

The Board of Health adopted the allergy notification as an amendment to the Westchester County Sanitary Code on Nov. 20, 2008. The Board of Legislators on Nov. 10, 2008 passed the calorie labeling legislation for chain food service establishments, which was introduced by Myers. Both measures will be enforced by the County Health Department starting this month.

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