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 Post subject: A wedding story
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 10:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:23 pm
Posts: 190
Not much to say other than the fact that our attendance at a friend's wedding was cut short by the presence of multiple steaming hot allergens, including sesame, pesto (containing pine nuts), peanut, and other nuts. We'd arranged special seating with the family ahead of time, but it didn't materialize. The waiters were handing these steaming platters to other guests over my head, and people were sitting next to me, talking and occasionally coughing, sending spray into the air.

I did begin to react, but rather than feel constained by social obligation, we simply gave our good wishes to the family, bride and groom, and left while the meals were being served.


Last edited by Andrea_MASG on Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 10:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6481
Location: Ottawa
I would send a note to the couple stating that you would have loved to have stayed longer but had to leave due to the food issues. I would extend my best wishes and say something positive but give them the information.
It sounds as though they tried to make accomidations and the caterer let them down. They might send a note to the caterer.
Word of mouth goes a long way in the wedding industry.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 11:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:23 pm
Posts: 190
I think you're right, Susan. The caterer obviously messed up quite a bit. Yet, I was never informed that there would be so many hot dishes containing these ingredients; I was expecting sesame on the bread, a cold sesame salad dressing, and nuts in the desserts, and that's about it. Still risky, but not as much as hot foods. This was as close to a sesame-nut fest as I've ever seen at an event. Had we known, we could have arranged to simply attend the ceremony and skip exposure to the meal. Good idea regarding writing a note to the family regarding the caterer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 10:21 am
Posts: 64
Location: Mississauga
Hi Andrea,

We went through the same thing with my daughter at a family function in a private room at a restaurant. The only things that were going to contain nuts were the desserts which were not supposed to be a problem because we would be leaving right after dinner. (We had initially declined to go but were assured that everything would be fine for dinner and they understood us having to leave when desserts were served).

Because the desserts were on a table where the cake was, the hostess very kindly removed them right away even before I had a chance to tell her and placed them behind the bar area. Well wouldn't you know that her very ignorant mother-in-law brought them out AGAIN and proceeded to unwrap the saran wrap(even after she was told about my daughter's allergy) and people actually starting eating them before dinner was even served :evil: .

When a little girl passed by and left a Nutela filled cookie with chopped walnuts on our table we immediately got up and left. Till this day my daughter is still affected my this whole fiasco.

The hostess apologized over and over and over again.

So I think you were 100% right for getting up and leaving! Your health is #1 if people don't get it that's their problem.

Sorry, but I had to vent. This whole thing still eats me up inside. Can't you tell? :wink:

Take care,

_________________
7 year old daughter-Allergic to Peanuts/Nuts
6 year old son-No allergies
4 year old daughter-No allergies


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Sorry you guys had such awful experiences. Definitely good "food for thought" for the rest of us.

My younger brother is getting married next year, and while his fiancee is already mentioning food allergies to potential caterers (because of my kids), I will definitely try to be having conversations with said caterer if I can. We're already getting the message that it will likely be best for us to bring food for our kids - although God knows how that's all going to work... Sigh.

Andrea -- if you have the energy or desire -- once you've explained to the happy couple why you left, do you think it would be more productive to ask for the contact info for the caterer so that you could have a conversation with them yourself? At least then the message is clear. It's kind of hard I know - you're a bit the monkey in the middle. You have no idea what message the caterer was actually given... At least this way you know that the feedback they will get will be very clear.

Anyway, that's such a shame that your allergens were sooo in abundance. I do think you did the right thing to leave.

It's so frustrating when you've said "NO peanuts/nuts, NO sesame" and all they seem to have heard is "NUT/PEANUTS, SESAME". Kind of like that Far Side cartoon where the only thing the dog hears is its name ("Blah blah blah GINGER blah blah GINGER blah blah blah..."). :?

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
:D :D :D :D :D :D

Image

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16-year-old son: peanuts, nuts, raw egg whites, asthmatic
Self: allergic rhinitis, fragrance/chemical sensitivities, oral allergy syndrome


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
:lol:

I have seen that cartoon too, and I sometimes talk to the dog that way! Blah, blah, blah, Coco, blah, blah...!

She understands everything about treats and food, though...

Kidding apart, sorry to hear about your experience at the wedding, Andrea, by the nature of the food you describe, it sounds like it was an Asian influenced menu, and that spells trouble for a lot of allergic people (peanuts, nuts, soy, sesame, seafood, etc.).

Anybody in the food service should receive some kind of training to recognize allergens.

_________________
15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
That's one bad wedding experience! I don't know whether reactions to airborne allergens get worse with each exposure, but that's a concern I would have as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 1:56 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Kanata, Ontario
I experienced exactly the same thing at my brother's wedding in Chicoutimi two years ago.
We were assured that a special menu would be made for the boys (they 1 and 3) of chicken fingers and fries.
When we arrived, we were told they could not guarantee they would be nut free. (now how this info suddenly appeared as they were preparing dinner...) They agreed to make spaghetti (best thing to feed small kids at a fancy function) but it would take 90 minutes ( :lol: ) This at 7 pm.
Needless to say, I packed up and drove to Mc Donald's. Sadly, I miised my brother's wedding supper.
What a fiasco.

Welcome to the club, eh?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 323
I haven't been to that many weddings since my allergies got worst 15 years ago... only 3 really different experiences:

I've had the one where they decided to do dinner with only family at a seperate restaurant than where the actual reception was (I liked that one!)

I've also had one where I personally spoke with the caterer (as I was also going to be in the kitchen that night because I was catering the wedding cake)... First they said there was a mix up ended up with cesear salad when it was extremely clear that there would be no cesear salad! The guests really enjoyed their "no dressing" cesear salad :roll: ... but I didn't take a chance on my now green salad... The chicken with the creamy sauce was made and I was supposed to have on piece without the sauce... well, they ended up putting each piece of chicken in the sauce and the last one was mine and put in a seperate plate... after that same spoon had seen the sauce more than 50 times! And it went on and on! They even dared touch the wedding cake! This is where I took all my things and left the kitchen... with the cake to work in the hall! (can't describe the face the bride had on when she saw me screaming at the caterer :lol: )

But the 3rd one, actually a year ago exactly, I really enjoyed. The bride and groom have known about my worst episodes so they were not willing to see one more at their wedding for sure! I got calls from the bride everystep of the way to approve the menu and tell her what could go wrong with each dish and she made it real clear with the caterer (the servers were almost afraid of me :lol: ...). I had my backpack on the chair next to me with all my whole 7-course meal as I knew exactly what was going to be served and I would pull out my dishes and food as the different courses were brought in. I would like to describe the stares of the 200 people that were there, it was just too funny. The only ones I knew over there were the bride and groom and their parents so you can imagine what went through people's minds asthey knew nothing about me... and they did not sit me in a little corner, but right in the middle :lol: (suddenly knew what being in a circus felt like :lol: )

For weddings, my best advice is to get the menu... and bring your own no matter what the caterer tells you!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:23 pm
Posts: 190
That Far Side cartoon is one of my faves, Karen! :)

I definitely have to speak with the family and the caterer.

Sounds like we've all had pretty simiilar experiences.


Last edited by Andrea_MASG on Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Catered Food
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:44 am
Posts: 18
Location: K-W, ON
I can so relate to this! I just returned from a 3 day conference, and though the hotel was notified of the allergies (4 of us), they made very little action to ensure that the food was safe for us. I felt like a total pain at each meal having to verify with the person in our group that it was nut-free and then she had to go and talk to the kitchen, then come back and talk to the four of us. There were several obvious nuts on some of the food, so I knew it was not completely nut-free! I think next time I will arrange for a fridge in my hotel room and bring an entire weekend's worth of safe food! Not exactly cost effective (I was on the planning committee and know the registration fee covered very little more than the food) or convenient, but sure saves the hassle and wondering!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 7:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
I heard a similar story from a friend who was recently at a wedding. He'd been assured that the dessert would be safe (no peanuts or nuts)... and what was sprinkled all over the cake? Nuts.

I pretty much don't trust many places to get the food right, and we always bring something for our kids - even if it's just backup.

We have to plan for my brother's wedding reception in September and I have a sneaking suspicion that my husband (who is a good cook) is going to end up in the kitchen at some point. Either that or I will order take-out for my kids! Pizza for one and Swiss Chalet for the other, with home-made cupcakes by me.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 9:53 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6481
Location: Ottawa
Yeah, we're going to a wedding in Banff this summer. I've book accomidations at an apartment hotel with a full kitchen. (Will pick up cutting board and can opener at dollar type store in Calgary)
I plan to make all of our daughters' meals including the wedding dinner meal. The kitchen staff might be able to do an amazing job but...might is simply not good enough.
I would not be able to relax and enjoy the evening and neither would our daughter.
I guess I'll have to try some high altitude cooking for the cup cakes!

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 4:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Unfortunately my bro's wedding reception is in smallish town and there is not a suite hotel to be found there (trust me I've tried). So we are doing one night at my parent's which is nearby and one night at a hotel with a micro-kitchen. But at least it is still September and we can do cold foods without suffering too much and some camping foods. At least my kids love Uncle Ben's speedy rice (2 minutes in the m-wave)!

Ah, what I wouldn't give to just show up at a party or wedding reception with my kids in tow and just let them loose on the food. A girl can dream... ;)

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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