You are viewing Allergic Living Canada | Switch to United States

Talking Allergies

* FAQ    * Search
* Login   * Register
It is currently Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:01 am

All times are UTC - 4 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Restaurants Liability?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 1:28 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2005 6:09 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Burnaby
Hi all,
My name is Lisa. I found your site to day on my lunch break and am happy to discover there are so many people out here that are like me. I suffer from many food allergies, hay fever, flowers, pollen, dust, most animals. The food allergies which are of the worst are Beef, Shellfish, Salmon, Pork, Oranges, walnuts and beets. I am going to a naturalpath to see if there are more as this past year has been bad. The worst thing was one week ago I was dining at a "trendy" chain restaurant, I do not want to name at this time. Anyhow, I advised them 3Xs that I am very allergic to beef and that I would like this particular burger howver please substitue with chicken. The waitress said no problem - the menu even says to advise of allergies and they are happy to make substitutions. I must tell you that am 37 years old and have not had beef since I was a young girl. What happened is I did not want the bun as I was on a protein/green veg. cleans. So, when the "patty" came, it was covered p by shrededd lettuce, and blue cheese (I take Lacdaid for this). I ate a mouthful from my fork, swallowed and then though this tasts really good! ..but wait...very different. The texture is not like chicken..or is it ground chicken? I panicked and flipped the toppings off the meat and saw Beef! I called to the waitress who said she was sorry and made a mistake..offerd to change it then to what it should have been, chicken. I said no way! Take it back. She was to get the manager (she said). She continued onto other tables, laughing with the patrons and did not go get the manager quick like she should have! Within seconds my mouth started to tingle, moments later I was doubled over in pain and had to rush to the washroom to vomit, which seemed like I was doing for a long time-over 30 minutes non stop. The assitant manager ran into the washroom, handed a glass of water over the door of the cubicle and asked if I was ok..I said no! She waited outside in the hall.. I took at look at myself in the mirror and was mortified. My face and mouth were starting to swell up bad, my eyes were starting to close and stomach was feeling bloated and I had a asthma attack. She was going to call the ambluance but I thought I would just go home. I did for nearly 2 min as I live a 2 min drive from the restaurant. I felt worse, my husband drove me to the hospital. My breathing got a little better while sitting with the nurses and doctor, my face had hives, my stomach, my chest and my arms were really bad. My eyes were bright purple and red including underneath the eyelids which were huge. It has been a week and I was to the doctor a few days ago who had to persribe creams for my eyes and arms as especially my eyes are still bad. My question, and I am not sure if anyhow has the answer is "Are restaurants liable for something of this nature especially as they wre advised 3Xs by me and at least twice by my husband.
I wish not for personal reasons a gain but do not want what happend to me at this restaurant to happen to anyone else.
:wink:
Sincerely,
Lisa Cattell-Douadi of Burnaby BC


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 8:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Hi Lisa, I don't know the answer to your question about the liability of the restaurant, but I would definitely make a stink about this!

I'm concerned about your reaction----I made the same mistake as you about not going to the hospital right away with an allergic reaction that almost proved fatal. If your mouth is tingling *and* you are nauseous this is definitely anaphylaxis as it involves more than one body system.

Since that one scary reaction, I've learned that we should not wait until the reaction gets really bad---we should take an epipen as soon as the reaction starts especially if we know that you've eaten something we are anaphylactic to. The longer we wait to take the epi, the less chance we have of surviving.

Best of luck and let us know what happens with the restaurant situation!
Lisa


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 323
Sorry to hear about your reaction. Hope you feel better. Just one warning though: all naturopaths that I've been to always wanted me to take some fish to "cure" my fish anaphylaxis... carefull with these guys, they've tried to kill me more than once!!!!! An allergist is best qualified for testing for allergies!

I know people are going to hate me for saying that... (probably because I've worked in the food industry and now have the allergies...) : DON'T TRUST THEM, ALWAYS TRIPLE CHECK YOUR PLATE BEFORE EATING FROM IT!!!!!!! No matter how many times you tell them, the person you tell is not the person making your food and the message normally doesn't make it all the way! And if you go at a busy time... they have a lot of other customers to care for, so if you don't either have a waiter that knows how serious allergies are or are able to scare them to death so that they take you seriously, mistakes can and will happen! Not everyone "gets" the whole allergy thing... most people here probably didn't before their kids had them... is it worth putting your life in their hands for a simple meal?

Mylène


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 12:54 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 12:18 am
Posts: 45
Location: Edmonton
Hi Lisa,

I had a similar experience to yours a few years ago. It was my birthday and the waiter brought the cake they usually use on birthdays. We hadn't ordered it. When we got it, their were almonds on the top, which i am NOT allergic to. So we asked what was in the cake, that i was severely allergic to nuts. We were practically the only customers in the restaurant and the waiter said he'd go check. He came back a little later and said that apart from the almonds, no nuts. So I ate the cake, big mistake. Ended up spending the rest of my 17th birthday in the ER wit hanaphylactic shock.
My dad went back to the restaurant after I got home and the hostess checked an ingredient book in the kitchen. . .Their was pecan paste in the cake! Now, remember, this is the cake they give to everyone with birthdays and its loaded with nuts.
I decided to pursue legal action for negligence, more out of principal and to protect others who use the restaurant. The restaurant franchise settled out of court after realising that I wasn't goin to back down.
The enxt time I went to the restaurant, a few months later, I asked to see the desert menue out of curiosity, the cake description said that it was loaded with nuts! If only I had seen the desert menu.
Since the settlement, I've noticed that the menus have a bold warning on the menu to let them know about allergies. All their deserts now have a "may contain" on them and whenever i tell the waiter/tress about my allergies, i make sure that they write it down and i can see the warning light go up in there head. They know its serious now.
Hope this helps.

Caroline


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 10:11 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
caretrem wrote:
When we got it, their were almonds on the top, which i am NOT allergic to. So we asked what was in the cake, that i was severely allergic to nuts. He came back a little later and said that apart from the almonds, no nuts. So I ate the cake, big mistake. Ended up spending the rest of my 17th birthday in the ER wit hanaphylactic shock.

Caroline -- just wondering...as someone who has a nut allergy (I don't know if you are also allergic to peanuts or not...) do you not avoid ALL nuts due to the likelihood of cross contamination?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 12:18 am
Posts: 45
Location: Edmonton
ethansmom wrote:
Caroline -- just wondering...as someone who has a nut allergy (I don't know if you are also allergic to peanuts or not...) do you not avoid ALL nuts due to the likelihood of cross contamination?


I do now, because of oral allergy syndrome, but at that time i never thought of possible cross-contamination. That's why my dad went back to the restaurant to double check the ingredients. Since then, though, I've been learning A LOT about allergies, since more information has become available than since I was little.

Caroline

_________________
Anaphylaxis to fish, nut, peanuts, soy, birch, and grass.
OAS


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:46 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
Lisa, so sorry to hear about your reaction -- I completely agree with Mylene when she counsels seeing an allergist.

On the liability question, I'm torn. Unlike some of the others on the forum, I do go to a select number of restaurants with good and careful kitchens. That said, lately when I've given my list of allergens to some waiters in such restos, they've taken to telling me that "they can't guarantee" 100% that there will be no cross-contam. I know these are good kitchens, careful staffs .. I am positive this is just covering your butts to say you warned in case the anaphylaxis patron decides to sue. I find it really troubling - akin to slapping "may contains" on package labels just to not have to bother with the allergic.

I'd like to see more restos encouraged to be allergy-friendly, to undertake practices to eliminate cross-contam., not simply to shut us out as if we were - egads - smokers.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:21 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Connecticut, USA
Lisa,

I don't know the answer to your questions about restaurant liability but I want to reply to you because I"m conerned that you don't have the information and maybe the medication you need to have. The incident you described was most certainly anaphylaxis. You should have self-injected or had someone give you and epi pen and call an ambulance to take you to the er for treatment and 4-6 hours of observation (the 4-6 hours of observation are because many reactions have a 2nd much stronger phase--called a biphasic reaction.)

I love my naturopath but in the USA anyway naturopaths are *not* qualified to treat real food allergies. (Just as allergist aren't going to do much for food sensitivities.) You have food allergies. I hope you will see an allergist and get epi pens if you don't have them and learn the signs of an anaphyalctic reaction and get an emergency plan so you know just what to do in an emergency.

I think that it is best to only eat out at places which you are sure can cook for you safely because really, you could die if you pick a place that isn't going to keep you safe. I don't eat out with our son in general but if I were to eat out I would first call the restaurant and speak with the ownder and/or manager and talk *in detail* about what foods I'm avoiding and fin dout what my options are going to be. I would avoid busy times and when I came to the restaurant I would ask to speak to the manager or chef and explain to them that I had life-threatening food allergies. I would double or tripple check the food. I would have my epi pens and cell phone with me. And if I found a safe place I would keep going there.

I'm sorry you have food allergies.

Best wishes.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:21 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Connecticut, USA
Also, you need to explain that you need your food cooked in a freshly cleaned pan with clean utensils and that even minute cross contamination can cause a reaction, etc.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: GBing and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group