Safe to Eat! Ming's Law
updated 02/23/2009 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 02/23/2009 AT 01:00 AM EST
But today, thanks in part to the host of public TV's Simply Ming, David and others like him can dine out in Massachusetts with less worry. The state just passed the country's most comprehensive law requiring restaurants to educate staffs about allergies. "This is a giant step," says Anne Muñoz-Furlong, founder of the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. State senator Cynthia Creem, who sponsored the bill, credits Tsai with not only lobbying for four years, but for long setting an example. His Wellesley, Mass., restaurant Blue Ginger serves foods that David can't eat but avoids cross-contamination in the kitchen. Tsai also keeps handy a list of the ingredients in every dish, so servers can easily answer the question "What's in that?" Under the new law, restaurants that keep such lists can be designated "Food Allergy Friendly" on a state Web site. But even now, Tsai tells parents of allergic kids to raise concerns with the chef—and that includes visitors to Blue Ginger: "No chef is too busy to talk to you about a child's life."