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 Post subject: Service refused
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:21 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:29 pm
Posts: 192
Location: Ohio
Have ay of you ever had this problem or am I alone?

We went to Costco and my oldest who has a milk allergy asked to have a salad with no cheese. The lady said no all our salads have cheese. I said can you make a salad with no cheese please. The manager agreed and said do you not like cheese? My Daughter responed by saying I am allergic to it. The Manage stopped in mid stride and said well then I am sorry we can't make you a salad. I asked her why not and she said because we can't be responsiable if she has a reaction to the salad. I said if you don't put cheese on she won't have a reaction. :shock: The lady shook her head and said no no salad sorry. I said can you get her a hotdog? She said no I am sorry we can't sell you anything. :twisted:

_________________
Karen in Ohio mom of 7
Allergic to tons and tons of food as well as perfumes, scented air sprays and cleaners. Hubby to Fish, ds #2 Shellfish, youngest to Eggplant, potato, Caesin, Raw Tomato & spinach.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
They have probably dealt with a reaction to trace amounts in the past.

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self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:58 pm
Posts: 275
Location: on my pc in cp
having worked in food services i can understand why a teammate would have been skiddish around the word "allergy" but the manager should have asked about the severity of the paticular allergy. i can understand why you're frustrated, but in food service the word "allergy" sends up a lot of red flags, some people go the extra mile and ask questions and find out what's safe, and some people will just opt out of serving a person for liability reasons.

_________________
allergies - penicillin, benadryl, dust mites, enviornmental & chemical
conditions - dermatographism, eczema, well contorolled asthma
dietary - lactose intollerant, vegatarian


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Hmmm. Well, we have had a restaurant tell us that we couldn't come back (very nicely though). See http://www.allergicliving.com/forum/vie ... php?t=1352 for the details.

This is an interesting question though - does the food service industry have the right to refuse service to allergic people? In particular if someone is making an informed decision? It's not like you didn't know there was cheese on the premises.

I would be tempted to write to the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association ( http://www.crfa.ca/ ) and ask them if they have a policy that restaurants and other foodservice places can look to with regards to this kind of situation. If you do this and get some info, please report back!

I'm sure this question will come up more and more in the future, as the foodservice industry becomes more and more allergy aware, and as food allergies continue to rise.

A friend of mine told me about a very nice, fairly expensive restaurant in our area that now has a form that they ask patrons to fill out with their allergy info. (How cool is that!?) She was at a dinner with a group of people, one of whom had severe food allergies but who chooses to (a) eat pretty much everything, regardless of what it might contain and (b) not inform people about her allergies. Apparently, her attitude is that it's her problem to deal with - and yes, she has had to use her EpiPen many times. (My friend is pretty much appalled by this behaviour, given that she has two allergic kids of her own.)

So this woman takes the piece of paper, and rather than filling it out, slips it into her purse. The waiter knew there was someone with food allergies at the table because my friend had indicated as such when she made the reservation. The waiter asks who has the allergies. My friend discreetly points to this woman. From that point on there was a bit of a tug of war between the waitstaff and this woman. They point-blank refused to serve her the dessert she ordered, as it could have contained one of her allergens (nuts, I believe). She was told that she could have A, B, and D. However, C - the one she wanted - was not an option.

I can see the restaurant's perspective in this case. Let's say she ate the food - knowing that she was eating something that could cause a severe reaction - and went into anaphylactic shock. What if she died? Who would be to blame? It makes me think of what happens to bars when a person who got drunk at the bar has caused an accident. Even though the person made the decision to get into the car and drive drunk, the bar sometimes has to pay for damages (or share in the payment of damages) because they didn't take steps to stop that person from driving... And I think there have been cases where individuals holding parties at which people have gotten drunk and then had accidents have been put in that position as well.

Not an easy question, really. Are there any lawyers on the forum with more insight into what trumps what -- i.e. the right to eat a food vs. the right of a restaurant to refuse to serve it?

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 Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
As an adult, I've found it happens more in restaurants - where they say, 'we can't guarantee' ...

Depends on one's own comfort zone, but in a good resto, I would then ask: but if I have these allergies, do you clean tools, pans used in other meals and try to accommodate me? If the answer is yes, and the risk is obviously low, and they're just saying they "can't guarantee," then I'm ok with eating there. No one can guarantee against the unforeseen; as long as they're taking the precautions..

Perhaps the kitchen you encountered had too few cross-contamination measures in place. If that were so, I wouldn't want to order there.

However ... There's a large and swish deli/bakery up the street from me, where I used to spend a lot of money. Note: "used to". I don't buy desserts much, but one day I was inquiring about a dessert that I knew should be free of my allergens.

After mentioning peanut, soy (which can be used as an emulsifier in baking) and shellfish (shouldn't be a problem!), the server asked the manager, a sometimes difficult guy. He came barging out to the counter to tell me that they make one or two Thai salads with peanuts so therefore he absolutey did not want me shopping from the bakery. (Meanwhile, the salads are prepped on the deli side.)

I said really, you guys don't have measures in place such as cleaning knives and boards well between jobs? And he just went on about - couldn't guarantee, didn't want to take a chance. So I left and didn't go back. Some people would rather lose customers than attempt to accommodate.

Maybe someone had sued them in past? who knows. At least I don't waste so much money by going there now .

:wink:

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
It's a tough one. I'm sure that manager could have used more tact in talking to you about their use of dairy and how their food-prep environment wouldn't be safe for your daughter (for all you know, the person shredding the cheese then loaded the hot dog cooker with cheesy fingers) over refusing to serve you guys at all. For me, I personally would rather someone say to me - "no, your son can't eat here because we can't guarantee that the food will be free of his allergens", over, "sure, go ahead, no problem here", and have it end up that he has a reaction. Do I wish measures were in place requiring that food establishments have proper allergen control policies and procedures in place? YES!! -- but barring that, I'd just as soon find somewhere else to eat. On the brighter side, a person's demeanor tells you a lot about themselves -- given her attitude, it was probably best that she didn't serve your daughter. :)


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