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 Post subject: Allergic chefs, etc
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:19 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Halifax
Does anyone know any? Are there other jobs that would be especially challenging for folks with allergies? I was wondering that today, and how difficult it would be if one felt a pull towards a profession like that.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 323
I can help you with your questionning... I graduated from pastry school and worked in a pastry shop for a couple of years... before having to go find another job. I went back to school and now work in an office, which is safer for me.

I got my pastry diploma with mostly a fish allergy on my list, so I didn't expect to have any trouble with that... but then the pastry shop I worked for offered sandwich and pasta for lunch. Not a problem yet as I had asked that there be no fish on days that I was scheduled to work... but that new chef of theirs that was doing the lunches couldn't figure that one out! On days I would work, I would still find empty tuna cans under my table, empty fish dishes, and some co-workers eating yesterday's leftovers! I was going nuts! And then there were the incidents where she decided to cook some fish in the oven which smelled for like 2 weeks (had to stay home until it didn't smell...) and in the pastry pots instead of hers... We were to the point where I had to work in the basement or second floor because I could not work in the main kitchen anymore... Then one day I decided that the owner had to decide between me and her... but then I got sicker and we discovered my milk allergy, so I had to give it up. I had gotten offers to open my own pastry shop, but my health did not permit me to do it and with the milk allergy, I didn't want to work with it too much...

I had the chance to live my dream for a couple of years which I don't regret at all, then I went back to University and found a great job that I love. It has it's advantages: I'm not at all a morning person and don't have to get up at 4 in the morning anymore :wink: .

Well, that's my story. Now I have to spend hours in my kitchen to prepare my meals and sometimes try some of my old pastry recipies with some substitutions to treat myself.

Mylène


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 11:03 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 7:06 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Winnipeg, MB, canada
At the moment I am attending Massage Therapy School. It has proven to be a challenge on many different levels. One of those levels has to do with my severe allergies. I am anaphaylatic to chicken, turkey and tuna, although I stay away from all fowl and fish. It's hard enough to stay away from a tiny school full of students who eat everything! especially chicken and tuna. But the part that is getting me worried is the reactions I get from my clients. For example; if they had eaten something and haven't washed there hands, then I shake their hand, or use my pen to sign the forms, but the weirdest one is when I had a reaction to sweat, or doing intraoral work (work inside the mouth). I Also go into anaphylaxis just from inhalation of chicken. That is probably the hardest part from all of this. I have to be aware of my surroundings at all times.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 10:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:39 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Ontario, Canada
I've run into problems with chefs and cooks who are "allergy unaware" or just don't care.

One is sort of humorous. The cook was preparing breaded chicken for our supper. I asked if she used eggs in the breading process because I am allergic to them. She said "No, I don't use any. eggs. I dip the chicken in MAYONNAISE then the breading"

We had another cook at work who was preparing breaded chicken and another employee was highly allergic to both eggwhite and yolk. The cook kept a separate piece for the employee away from all the rest, which was dipped in eggwhite then the breading. When finished, the cook took the set-aside piece, dipped it in water, then INTO THE SAME PAN OF BREADING, then put it on top of the rest of the breaded chicken. Word was passed and the employee ate something else.

A former chief cook in a cafeteria I was at seemed to think food allergies were all in people's minds. If a customer asked the server if if a certain dish contained certain allergens, the server would often be told by the cook, in a not so friendly manner, that 'I don't have time for reading labels" or to "go find the box and read it". One day she was preparing grilled whitefish and I thought I'd have some for supper so I inquired if she used egg in the breading process (I knew one of the other cooks did when he made it). She snapped at me "Go look at it. What's on it is on it. YOU OUTGROW YOUR ALLERGIES WHEN YOU GET OLDER, so eat it or don't eat it!" I stopped eating anything I knew she prepared after that and am glad she retired!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 8:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Thanks for the posting. Sometimes people think I'm a bit paranoid for not wanting to eat out, but stories like these are why! Plus when I was younger and my parents took me out to eat we had several incidents involving projectile vomiting after they had inquired about the ingredients and everything.


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