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Apr 18, 2021

Proposed Law: epipen on site

Very tragically, a 23 year old woman died last week because of a kashrut mistake.

The family was eating in a kosher meat restaurant up in northern Israel, in the town of Rosh Pina. 

The young woman, Osher Deri, ordered a dessert dish that included whipped cream. Earlier in the day the restaurant had run out of whipped cream so it sent an employee out to the shop to buy more. The employee, it turns out, had mistakenly bought some dairy whipped cream instead of pareve whipped cream.. 

The dessert that Deri was served included the dairy whipped cream. Maybe a dozen other people also got the dairy whipped cream after their meat meal, but Deri's allergy to mil products is what caused the issue to be discovered. Deri ate her dessert, had a severe allergic reaction, and died.

Deri did not have epinephrine pen with her. She had no reason to think she would need it. Her mother said, as per the TOI article, that Osher herself had worked in the past in this very restaurant and had no reason to think that ordering a pareve dessert would lead to a chance of there being an issue with dairy.

There was some outcry about how this got through the kashrut system. 

The kashrut system is not perfect. People make mistakes. This one was, sadly, tragic.

Because of this tragedy, Kikar is reporting that MK Yinon Azoulay (Shas) has proposed a law that would require all restaurants to have epinephrine pens available, just in case, to deal with an allergic reactions, as one of the conditions of receiving a business license.

Azoulay says there are on average two deaths per year in Israel due to food allergies, in addition to other levels of reaction lower than death though some are still serious cases. Having an epipen on site would give an immediate response to such a medical crisis and give the patient time to get to a hospital or medical center for proper treatment.

They will have to also ensure that if it should be, God forbid, needed and used, the epipen will get replaced or the stock replenished.

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