Tag: duty of care

invisible disabilities part one

Thrive! With Invisible Disabilities Part One

We know what disabilities are, right? If anyone asked, we would be able to chat intelligently about basic difficulties faced by those with disabilities, such as access, accommodations, bullying, and legal protections. What about invisible disabilities? The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) defined a disability as any individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. The 2008 extension of the Act was written to include those with allergies, including food allergies. It was updated to better recognize invisible disabilities. Invisible disabilities, also called hidden disabilities, as the term suggests, are…

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Feeding Employees at Work

Feeding Employees at Work: A Lesson for Food Allergy & Celiac Disease Awareness

Feeding Employees at Work: An Opportunity to Enhance Well-being As a meeting planner, I have a duty of care to ensure that the food I order for an event is delicious and safe for all participants. Every good meeting planner, CEO, and human resources professional understands that fostering a safe and inclusive workplace is good business—but in some cases, it is also the law. And, if you didn’t know it before, the law includes food and beverage served in the workplace. Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) estimates that 15 million Americans (5 percent of the U.S.) have food allergies,…

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Cross-Contamination, Cross-Contact, & Food Safety at Your Event

Cross-contamination is a commonly understood concept. It occurs when bacteria or viruses contaminate food. It can occur during preparation and storage. Often, proper cooking will reduce or eliminate the contamination, so foodborne illness is less of a risk. Occasionally, people forget what they are doing and put their newly cooked hamburger patties on the same plate they used to hold the patties when they were raw. This just reintroduces the contamination. Luckily, professional kitchen staff are trained in the proper handling of food and risk is minimized. When discussing food allergies, we really need to be more aware of cross-contact.…

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An Open Letter to the Meetings Industry

Meetings Industry – An Open Letter on Inclusion

Dear Meetings Industry, In June 2016, I attended Meeting Professionals International (MPI) World Education Congress. As usual, the international conference was well attended and a wonderful gathering of top industry professionals. We studied food and beverage topics, budgeting, international trends, hybrid and virtual meetings and more. Added to this year’s event was a celebration of inclusion … mostly. Unfortunately, the convention occurred on the heels of the tragic LGBT nightclub shooting in Florida, where 49 people were killed, over 50 were injured, and over 200 were held hostage until the gunman’s death, when police stormed the club around 2 a.m.…

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The Real Difference Between Dietary Choices & Dietary Needs

As the controversy and, let’s face it, confusion, rages on around the world here’s an easy primer on the why’s and woes of dietary choices and dietary needs. Let’s begin with an actual disease, Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease isn’t an allergy to gluten as many people often mistake. It is an actual autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley) causes damage to the small intestine. An estimated 1 in every 100 people has celiac, worldwide and most are undiagnosed. Because this is an actual autoimmune disorder, a diagnosis will ensure opportunity for…

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Food Allergy Awareness laws are being enacted in U.S. states to help save the lives of restaurant patrons

Dietary Needs Unlock New Level of Duty of Care

When I was an in-house corporate meeting planner, one of the executive assistants used to call me “everybody’s mamma.”  Whether it was purchasing new jeans for the CEO because he forgot his, ordering a low-salt meal for the executive vice president with a heart condition, finding hotel rooms for 30 sales staff stranded in Dallas due to bad weather, or getting the vice president of marketing to the hospital when she was sick at an event, I responded to everyone’s needs and wants. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, all of these incidents (except the CEO’s jeans) fall under my responsibilities as an event planner in what is termed…

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