2008_08_grapes.jpgEncouraged by the passage of a law requiring chain restaurants in New York City to display calorie information for food and beverages, Councilman Domenic Recchia has introduced a bill that would require store owners to post signs or labels warning parents about bite-size foods that pose a choking hazard for children under the age of five.

Recchia tells the Sun he was motivated to do something after a 2-year-old boy in his district died in 2007 from suffocating on a grape: "A lot of parents don't have any idea what choking hazards are. They would never think of a grape as dangerous. Do you know how many parents don't know that popcorn can choke a child?"

It's generally recommend that parents skin and slice grapes for children under the age of four. According to Recchia, the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene would compile the list of foods requiring labels, which would likely include grapes, peanuts, chewing gum, small hard candies, and candy necklaces. If the passed into law, store owners could face a $250 fine for noncompliance. Unsurprisingly, a lobbyist for the Neighborhood Retail Alliance, Richard Lipsky, calls the bill "overly burdensome."