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Understanding Basic Menu Health Warning Requirements in the State of Washington

Over the past several months, we’ve received a number of client inquiries regarding menu labeling requirements, specifically the warnings required under Washington’s Food Code. A companion piece on Oregon’s requirements will be posted soon. Enjoy.

From fine dining to family-style restaurants, menus set the tone and begin a dialog with their patrons about the variety of food and drink options offered by the dining establishment. They also serve as real estate for public safety and legal disclaimers intended to protect patrons from food borne illness--and restaurateurs from claims and lawsuits. Aside from Pacific Northwest Portlandia comic relief (a television show based in Portland whose first episode features diners inquiring about the quality of life of the chicken they are about to order), many actually read the fine print off menus: Where are those oysters from? How was that albacore caught? Are the tomatoes heirloom?

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About the Editor

Greg Duff founded and chairs Foster Garvey’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.

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