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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
We ordered chicken and baked potatoes from Swiss Chalet the other night and I was very impressed with them. A friend with allergy experience gave me advice on how to order. (It sounds more like a military operation than ordering food, but it worked! :) And believe it or not, I was sooo nervous about doing it. I called my poor friend about 3 times that day!)

1. I checked out the allergen info online ( http://www.swisschalet.com/ourmenu/allergens.pdf - if you print it you will either need a magnifying glass or 11x17 paper - honest), printed it out and highlighted what was safe.

2. I called the 1-866 number and as I was ordering I asked the person on the line to please make sure all the following info was written down on our order:
- the food is for someone with life-threatening allergies to peanut, nut, egg, and dairy
- I wanted the person preparing the food to use a new pair of gloves
- I wanted the baked potatoes UNCUT (to reduce the risk of cross-contamination)

The order-taker didn't bat an eye and typed it all down. And all the info was on the bill when I went to pick up the food.

3. I then called the restaurant that would be processing the order and re-iterated my info. The woman there was really gracious - said that all the info would be on the order that they received, but that she really appreciated that I was calling to confirm. That really impressed me, I have to say. Instead of getting the verbal "hairy eyeball", I was thanked for being vigilant!

4. When I went in to pick up the order, the girl at the counter said that they had missed the part about the uncut potatoes, so they were just re-packing the cut potatoes with uncut ones. And then she came back and said they couldn't guarantee that the (free) buns hadn't come into contain with some form of dairy, so they didn't include them. I also appreciated that - better to just not have them, in my opinion. She also said how seriously they take allergies.

Was it worth all the trouble? Totally. The chicken was delicious, and my son was so happy to have something a little different. (And his older brother was happy to have his safe take-out pizza.) And next time it'll be much less work and worry.

DH and I are quite excited - maybe on Sundays we'll have Swiss Chalet instead of his extravaganza roast beef dinners that take 3-hours to make and 1.5 hours to clean up after! :lol:

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


Last edited by KarenOASG on Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
That's wonderful---they really do seem to get it. I used to eat at Swiss Chalet on the rare occasion . . . it was one of the few places I would eat at since my reaction in highschool (I did eat at a few other places . . . but had reactions. That, however, was probably because I didn't check out the ingredients carefully enough.)

I stopped eating there though as my list of allergens has been growing.


Last edited by Helen on Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:30 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Ottawa
We were just there yesterday, and had the very opposite experience, and I will never go back. The server was very unaware of anything on their menu considering nut and shellfish allergies. We had to read the pamphlet she brought out. We were told the kids meals were fine. Well that wasn't the case, as my daughter ended up having a reaction and we had to use the epipen. In case anyone doesn't know, there is shellfish in their chalet sauce. Even the server did not know. :roll:


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Wow - that's not good. I'm so sorry that happened. If you have the time/energy, you should definitely follow up with their customer service dept.

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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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:30 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Ottawa
Yes, I sent head office an email. They really need to make sure staff is trained better - at all locations.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 926
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Bobbi, I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter's reaction! That's really terrible. I wonder why the Swiss Chalet document does not indicate that the Swiss Chalet sauce contains shellfish?? Can you tell us what your daughter ordered from the children's menu? Swiss Chalet has been the only restaurant we've ordered from recently as our son has multiple food allergies and we've had WAY too many scares when others cook for him. I thought Swiss Chalet could be trusted - we have only ordered the chicken, sauce, fries, and steamed veggies.

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, green peas, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:30 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Ottawa
The document DOES say that it contains shellfish, but we were well into our meal when we discovered that. The waitress had no idea. And that is where I had a problem. Shellfish is a common enough allergen that they should know these things.

My dd had the 1/4 chicken dinner, but barely touched it. We think there was either cross contamination, or somehow got a bit of my husbands sauce.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:25 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Bobbi, we had a similar experience with Swiss Chalet last May, before we found out anything about my daughter's allergies and thought she was allergic to peanuts. (Still not 100% sure she isn't, we still avoid them).

We were with a group of people and I specifically told the waitress to flag my daughter's meal to make sure it didn't come in contact with any ceasar salad dressing (it contains peanut oil, as if they couldn't substitute that!). Well, she brought all the plates out at the same time and handed them out randomly (a few meals were the same) so I knew that they hadn't taken precautions with my daughter's plate in the kitchen. She went ahead and ate anyway, but I wrote Swiss Chalet about this, saying that obviously the staff wasn't allergy trained. I complained about the peanut oil as well.

They replied with an apology and gift certificates :shock: That's supposed to make it all okay.

I guess I expect restaurants to respond like Boston Pizza, where the waiter explained he was going to personnally make sure that they were going to use new utensils and ingredients from the freezer and not the main assembly line for my daughter's pizza. This is their protocole.

_________________
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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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:01 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:21 am
Posts: 13
I recently discovered that according to the Swiss Chalet Nutrition & Allergy Guide, their "Tangy Plum Sauce" contains "peanuts & peanut products" as well as "fish"!! My son who is anaphylactic to both has had plum sauce many times and has never reacted. Why these items would be in plum sauce is a mystery.

I plan to write to them and ask them this very question.

Also, the Chicken soup also contains fish -- go figure.

I will let you all know what I find out.

Selina


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:51 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Here's another discussion about Swiss Chalet allergens: http://www.allergicliving.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=589


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 10:50 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:49 am
Posts: 50
Location: Edmonton
:? the strawberry sauce contains fish :shock: :? :?: (not that ds would get it because of the peanuts) that list is very helpful

_________________
ds 6: ana to peanuts and fish, cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, many environmental
dd 12: reacted to pork rinds
dh: brazil nuts
me: shrimp, mangos, environmental


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:26 pm
Posts: 89
Location: Toronto
When I inquired about nuts on site, I was told by the manager not to order a salad because they store their almonds (for a salad a believe) in the fridge where all the salads are kept.

Ang

_________________
6 1/2 year old son - anaphylactic to tree nuts, allergic to dust and moulds
5 1/2 year old son - no allergies
15 month old son...allergies unknown


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 4:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:21 am
Posts: 13
Hi all: Sorry for taking so long to share this info with reference to Swiss Chalet. This is a copy of the email and responses I received when i emailed them. Read from bottom to top. ~Selina

Quote:
Hi Selina,

That is most definitely a good suggestion which I can forward to our product development team for review.

Sincerely,

Allison Campbell
Guest Services
Swiss Chalet


-----Original Message-----
From: S Lowe [mailto:selinal@shaw.ca]
Sent: Wednesday, October 04, 2006 2:44 AM
To: Campbell, Allison
Subject: Re: SWISS CHALET


Allison:

Thanks for your reply, and for the explanations. We appreciate being
informed of the possibility of cross-contamination.

Is there any possibility of finding suppliers of plum sauce where nuts are
not present in the same factory?

Selina

----- Original Message -----
From: "Campbell, Allison" <ACampbell@Cara.com>
To: <selinal@shaw.ca>
Sent: Friday, September 29, 2006 4:30 PM
Subject: SWISS CHALET


> Dear Selina,
>
> Thank you for your email.
> I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. In regards to our
> nutrition/allergy guide we provide all information possible. This is due
> to the fact that if someone has a very high sensitivity, and that
> particular allergen is used/made in the same plant as our product
> supplier, we need to inform our guests.
>
> In this case, the chicken soup does not contin fish, but is made in a
> plant where fish stock and chicken stock are made. The plum sauce is also
> made in a plant where nuts are handled.
>
> We are currently working on updating our guide to reflect the most up to
> date information possible, but at this time we have indicated products
> that might have come across other allergens.
>
> I hope this helps.
>
> Allison Campbell
> Guest Services
> Swiss Chalet
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Swiss Chalet Website [mailto:selinal@shaw.ca]
> Sent: Friday, September 29, 2006 1:04 AM
> To: Swiss, Guest Services
> Subject: WWW form submission - Swisschalet contact us
>
> Feedback... September 29, 2006
>
> -----------------------------------------
>
> First Name: Selina
>
> Respond By: Email
>
> COMMENTS...
>
> My children have severe allergies to nuts and seafood. We always thought
> it was safe to eat at Swiss Chalet.
>
> I recently discovered that your Plum Sauce contains peanuts & fish -- how
> is that?
>
> Your Chalet Chicken Soup contains fish also. Could you please explain why
> these common food items that don't normally contain nuts & fish, have
> them?
>
> Would it be possible to eliminate these allergens from these foods on your
> menu? People with allergies have such limited choices at restaurants as
> it is.
>
> Your response will be appreciated. Thank you!
>
> Selina
>


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:50 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Selina, that's great info! Hopefully they follow up on it.

They should also include the Caesar salad dressing in there. It has a peanut warning. Same goes for the Chalet sauce, which they say contains fish. Is it perhaps because it contains Worcestershire sauce?

_________________
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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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:03 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Selina, you read my mind...I've been meaning to send them a similar email asking about the ceasar salad dressing and the plum sauce (peanut allergy). I hope they seriously consider changing their suppliers so that they can include more items for everyone. I'll still send my email along -- it might help them decide to change sooner than later. Thanks again for posting.


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