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 Post subject: Worst experience
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 1:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:19 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Halifax
What was your worst dining out experience? Why was it so awful?


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 Post subject: Worst experience
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:51 pm
Posts: 50
Location: Alberta, Canada
Just after we found out about Joshua's egg allergy we went out for dinner in Edmonton. We live 2 hours from Edmonton so when we went we knew we would be eating out and we went prepared... we had his epi-pen and some foods he could eat if we couldn't find anything for him on the menu (he was 14 months at the time). The waiter refused to serve Joshua because of his allergy and the man was quite nasty about the whole thing, refusing to even read the labels on stuff or check the ingredients. He said he didn't want the responsibility. I offered to read the labels for him but he still refused. I didn't want to make a scene so we ordered our food, gave Josh some of what we packed for him and then the next day I phoned the management of the restaurant to complain. We haven't been back there since. I had never had such poor service! I don't even know why we tried that restaurant... it was the same one where management came and asked me to "cover-up" with a blanket when I was nursing Joshua when he was 3 months old (he wouldn't eat under a blanket :( )
Robin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:19 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Halifax
God, how gross. People can be really rotten.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:14 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Milton, ON
My story isn't as awful as mommybirds, but I thought I'd share mine with you anyway.

My son has a peanut allergy. We went out with my 6 year old son to a nice family restaurant. My husband and I had been there numerous times but this was our first time there with our son. Well, he thoroughly enjoyed his kid meal of Macaroni and Cheese. This kids meal included a dessert. When I spoke to our server about his peanut allergy, there was no dessert they could offer him that did not have peanuts/nuts or that had not come into contact with peanuts/nuts. My poor son. :(
They didn't even have a non food kids treat. SOME FAMILY RESTAURANT!!! I had smarties and cookies I had brought from home, which the server frankly would not allow him to eat because they were not purchased there. :x

I filled out a comment card and made sure to mention my displeasure with the whole visit and obviously, we don't frequent that restaurant any more.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:56 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Halifax NS
Wow, some people are so insensitive,eh!

I went to a catered Christmas event last year (out of province). It was my husband's company party. While there, I made my nut and fish allergies know to the servers, who proceded to tell me what they served me had no nuts or fish. Unfortunately, there were walnuts in the turkey dressing. I took Benedryl immediately, but proceded to the hospital to be on the safe side. They kept me for 4 hrs in emerg, I rec'd some IV Benadrly, and Steroids. I didn't have to use my Epipen, but had it VERY handy!!

Some party!!

I emailed the company later, and they did "regret" that this happened, but were really very defensive and told me I should have warned them before the party!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:51 pm
Posts: 50
Location: Alberta, Canada
That sucks that they wouldn't let him eat the stuff you had brought. We had a restaurant try that on us too and I told them to politely stuff it. If they don't want people to bring in outside food they should think ahead and be a little accomodating, huh?
Robin


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 Post subject: Worst Experience
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:19 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Hamilton
I went out to dinner at a new pub with a friend. I told the waitress right off that I had severe seafod, shellfish and tree nut allergies and I said it loud enough for a table next to us to hear. I wanted the baked bree dish. She said no problem that she would let the cook know. I thought nothing of it. When she arrived with my dish, I took it from her hands and placed it in front of myself. I took a good long look at it, started to have problems swallowing, let out a yelp and ran into the washroom to wash my hands. My friend got the waitress and asked her what she didn't understand about the allergies. My bree was covered in peacan slices. The waitress laughed and said she forgot about that part of my "list". We left at that point and never went back.

Jamie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:56 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Halifax NS
Wow Jamie, that sounds brutal. Difficulty swallowing is one of my more common symptoms.
Scary!
I hope you followed that visit up, by talking to someone at the resturaunt.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:47 am
Posts: 305
Location: Montreal, Canada
I have not eaten in a restaurant for over ten years and my take on the subject is if your life depends on it, stay clear of restaurant. I eat only what I make, what my Mom makes or my fiancée.


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 Post subject: Post Subject
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2005 6:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:50 am
Posts: 205
Location: Canada
In the 1980's my Allergist suggested that I stay clear of resturants.
I have been able to that.
I do know once in a Hospitial years ago (,before the additive allergy ); I was brought the wrong meal-IT WAS FISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank Goodness I asked and never had a serious reaction and had my operation the next morning.
I would not know what it would cost to have someone make you a meal anymore.
Better safe than sorry.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 323
It may be because I have worked in the restaurant industry before or that I have lived with my anaphylaxis for so long that I have learned to see the other one's point of view on these stories. My dad STILL makes mistakes when cooking meals and he has known about my allergies since I've had them, but I still stand by him when he cooks to yell "No!" every now and then when he comes to take something I can't have. Except for my mom and my sister, I do not trust anyone else to do my meals because they are not trained enough to know all the little stuff that can happen in a kitchen that would make my meal unsafe. How would I expect someone I never met before to know all the 20 names for milk or that fish can be hidden in an ingredient called "spices", or that simply wipping the kitchen ustensils doesn't get rid of the fish that was on it? I have to meet with chefs and waiters when I attend conferences that serve food because of my anaphylaxis to the smell of fish, but the first thing I tell them is that I will NOT eat any of their food... do you know how pleased they are to hear that? I actually thank them when they let me know that they cannot garantee my safety when it comes to their food as they are not trying to hide the fact that they could kill me!

I have a friend with a 2-year-old allergic and I try my best to accomodate her needs but do not get insulted when she takes out her kid's meal when she comes over as I think it is safer for her. My kitchen is adapted to my needs and I have converted my sister's and my parent's kitchens as well, indicating everything that I can have and if they happen to cross-contamine that product while I am not there, they simply indicate that it is not "Mylène-safe" anymore, but I can't garantee the same for other's allergies.

So please, next time you are at a restaurant and the waiter tells you they do not want to take responsibility, please respect them. If they actually prefer to not kill your child, isn't better that they tell you or that they blindly try their best to hide the fact that they could actually kill your child because they don't know enough about it and that a 5-minute crash course in allergies is not enough from my point of view to let someone else cook for me.

(sorry, it had to come out...)

Mylène


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
It's good to hear the perspective of someone who has worked in the restaurant industry. I had a reaction years ago....I guess we're talking about 8 years ago or so...in a university cafeteria. It was one of those situations where I didn't know how severe the reaction was, but I didn't know what I could have eaten so I took my epipen just in case. I talked to the staff afterwards. The one cook explained that they don't always have time to make sure that cross contamination doesn't occur. When they are short on time, he said it is very easy just to grab the wrong spoon or knife.


Last edited by Helen on Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 323
Lisa, I guess we met the same staff at Ottawa U :wink: . The first thing I did when I became a student there was to ask around at the cafeteria (when it was not busy of course), what they did to prevent cross-contamination. Everyone was really honnest and told me that if I am ever stuck without anything to eat, I can always come there when they have no customers and see what can be done, but on a regular basis, no one wanted to garantee what they served as completely allergen-free.

Just to add to your sister's story: One day, when working in a pastry shop, we were under a tight timeline to finish a big order, so we had to eat quickly and one of the chefs was eating his sandwich in one hand and finishing the cake with the other... well, he was eating a salmon sandwich and a piece dropped on the cake. He simply took out the piece and continued his work. From that day, I haven't been able to eat a pre-made cake. I would have never suspected that fish cross-contamination could be a problem in a pastry shop, how can I know what the person was eating before or during the preperation! There wasn't supposed to be any fish brought to work when I was around... which he forgot... and when we were under tight schedules, we didn't really look at what we touched with what, we were looking to finish the job!

Mylène


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 Post subject: post reply
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:50 am
Posts: 205
Location: Canada
Lisa and Mylene ;
My gosh those are pretty bad stories. I always think of the staff I worked with once a long time ago and how they did not care at all about the people in the resturant.
This is long before we able to make a fuss about allergies.
Touching one thing and then another, not cleaning the utenstiles properly.
Even one of my Sons does not like to eat in Resturants after having worked in the kitchen area. You see too much....... I can imange that there is tons of cross containation from all kinds of different things.
The salmon falling on to the cake I can imange that from what I saw all those years ago.
Makes you wonder even about the sanitary nature of food preperation.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 9:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 924
Location: Oakville, Ontario
We certainly learned our lesson the hard way regarding letting others prepare food for our son. In the summer of 2003, our son was 18 months old. Our family went to a family cottage resort in northern Ontario. All meals were provided for the guests, and there were no kitchens available in the individual cottages. Two months prior to our holiday, I contacted the resort to discuss our son's complicated allergic condition (peanuts, nuts, sesame seed, egg, fish, shellfish, sunflower seed, green peas, beans, lentils, tomato (at the time), citrus fruits (at the time)). The person I spoke with suggested I fax through our son's list of food allergies to be presented to the head chef.

To my surprise, after this was discussed with the head chef, it was determined that they could accomodate our son's needs! I was thrilled and very surprised as we had seriously considered cancelling this holiday. They suggested that we meet with the chef the day of arrival.

So we went ahead with our trip, met with the chef upon arrival with our list in hand. He seemed very accomodating, but kept talking only about peanuts. When I was about to hand him the list of our son's food allergies, he waved his hand and said "Don't worry, I have the list." For the first meal, he suggested my son could safely order the turkey dinner (turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and a veg).

We were only 5 minutes into feeding our son his meal, when he began to react... he was extremely distressed, crying and screaming, he was covered in hives, his eyes began to swell, and he very quickly vomited. It was extremely scary. The staff at the resort called for an ambulance... it was just a nightmare. We could never determine what he reacted to, but my husband and I think it must have been in the stuffing.

Never again will we take such a risk, or expect others to understand the very complicated and very real danger in food allergies.


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