WHO: Ming Tsai, Chef/Owner and Host of food show "Simply Ming" on PBS
WHAT: Blue Ginger, Wellesley, Massachusetts
SIZE: 120 seats
CONCEPT: East meets West
VOLUME: $5 million
OPENED: February 1998
Developed the Food Allergy Reference Book, a system that creates safeguards to help food-allergic people dine safely; worked with Massachusetts Legislature to help write Bill S. 2701, which requires local restaurants to comply with simple food-allergy awareness guidelines.

Case Study: Successfully Managing Food Allergies

An operator shares his story

For FAAN's Welcoming Guests with Food Allergies restaurant training guide, visit www.foodallergy.org .

It took four years of negotiation, but Ming Tsai, the James Beard Award-winning chef of Blue Ginger, along with Senator Cynthia Stone Creem (D - MA), got a bill passed that makes restaurants in Massachusetts safer for those with food allergies. Tsai brought passion and expertise to his lobbying efforts, drawing on his experiences as both the father of a child with severe food allergies and a chef/restaurateur.

Serving diners with food allergies and sensitivities safely is a growing concern for operators. According to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), for which Tsai is a national spokesperson, more than 12 million Americans have food allergies, and approximately three million of them are children. FAAN estimates that food-related anaphylaxis results in about 150 deaths and more than 50,000 emergency-room admissions each year. Even trace amounts of an allergen can cause a reaction, which is why proper safeguards and training is so important. "I've always said if you are in the restaurant industry, it's your duty to serve everyone safe food," says Tsai.

His commitment to serving people safely has made Blue Ginger a destination restaurant for those with food allergies and sensitivities. "The advantage is that your business can benefit," he says. "At Blue Ginger, we have generated more business because of this. Talk about loyal customers. There is a market for catering to people who suffer from food allergies."