(March 27, 2020) The bill allowing restaurants and other food service facilities to store EpiPens for trained and certified employees for emergencies was passed in the House and Senate last week and will be effective Oct. 1.
Ocean City resort officials sought this bill after Chris M. Trimper, of Trimper’s Rides and Amusements, died on Oct. 24 from an allergic reaction to shellfish at a post-golf tournament gathering at Poseidon’s Pub at Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin.
Trimper was only administered an EpiPen by the time paramedics had arrived. Ocean City Councilwoman Mary Knight then contacted Sen. Mary Beth Carozza (R-38) about potential legislation.
Maryland is one of 14 states that do not have a law that gives public and private spaces the option to stock epinephrine.
Delegate Wayne Hartman (R-38 C) said that the bill doesn’t require restaurants and food service facilities to have EpiPens available, but allows them to if they so choose. “Hopefully, we’ll see some of the restaurants and so forth here locally take advantage of that opportunity or precaution for their guests,” Hartman said.
He emphasized that people with severe allergies should still take the proper precautions.
“I think the most important thing is for people who have reactions, allergic reactions, to have that responsibility and carry that EpiPen,” Hartman said. “This is not something that’s going to have every place in town have it. I think people will need to be mindful of that.”
Carozza said restaurant and food service facility employees will have to complete training approved by the Maryland Department of Health in order to carry EpiPens. In addition, restaurants or food service facilities cannot be sued for using an EpiPen in good faith and with the person administering treatment has the required training.
“I believe that this is exactly how good legislation should proceed and why these types of good bills eventually are passed,” Carozza said. “There was local input. There was a need for it and the goal was to prevent deaths in the future and this gives restaurants and other public food facilities one more tool to keep the public safe and to protect lives.”