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NYS funeral homes will be allowed to serve food and beverages

NY to end ban on food and drink in funeral homes
Posted at 12:13 PM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-27 14:33:29-04

The loss of a loved one is usually upsetting. It's a hard time for family and friends of the deceased but it can also be a time to celebrate the life he or she lived and a time to laugh and share stories.

Funeral home practices are now changing with more families opting to have longer calling hours and more in-funeral home memorial services.  Those changes are also making it more challenging on older family members and people who have medical conditions.

To help grieving families, New York State will soon end the ban on serving food and beverages at funeral homes. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the law that will go into effect in January 2017.

The new law will allow funeral homes to work with unaffiliated restaurants or catering services to provide light food such as baked goods, sandwiches, snacks and platters.  Alcohol will still be prohibited.

Food and beverages will not be allowed in preparation and embalming rooms.

The State Health Department will spend the next six months putting the final regulations together, and local funeral homes are studying ways to implement the practice that is already commonplace in 48 other states.

Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly spent the day talking with some local funeral home directors to see what they think about the new law.  Watch Ed's story to learn more.