According to New York City Administrative Code § 17-172, basically every place that serves food has to hang “a sign graphically depicting the Heimlich Maneuver or a comparable technique instructing on how to dislodge food from a choking person” in an area where it can be easily viewed by the public, or face a fine. This same law says that no one is any under obligation to help said choking person; it’s just important that there’s a notice instructing how to do it. The final section of the law, states that the Health Department “shall make signs available, and may charge a fee to cover printing, postage and handling expenses.”

Unfortunately, the design for this “sign” is crap and could be the reason why many restaurants don’t bother hanging it up at all. In an effort to keep everyone in compliance, ANIMAL created a more cleanly designed version and is offering it free of charge (download the PDF here). All the copy was ripped straight from the official sign except for the thing about “Stayin’ Alive;” we got that from the American Heart Association.


We sent the newly made posters to some of New York City’s most iconic restaurants with the hopes that they in turn will proudly put them up.

(Poster design: Nate Cepis/ANIMALNewYork)