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Food Allergies and How To Deal With Them

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Several years ago food allergies were rather rare. Now you have from peanuts to gluten to strawberries. STRAWBERRIES!!! To know someone can't enjoy strawberries that is disheartening. Daycares and schools nowadays take precaution as to food allergies that a child has. I'm curious to know at your specific restaurant how does your restaurant go about handling food allergies. Are your waiters/servers knowledgeable as to what ingredients are in or isn't in a specific dish? Does your restaurant have a supply of epipens? Are you satisfied with your restaurant's approach to combating the rising amount of food allergies people have? Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 19
Caterer not restaurant....glutin free events have come up a bunch. I just plan the menu so that there's no glutin at all....thus no cross contamination in the dips.

One wedding reception was vegan/glutin free...that took some thought.

Waitstaff know basics, BUT when anyone asks about an allergen they are sent to me....or rather me to them, that way there is NO mistake.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #3 of 19
What Shroom said, when in doubt I am sent for.
If you make us aware of your allergy we will try to accomodate it.
If you tell us after you've recieved your food, well, to be blunt, you're a bit stupid.
There are many people with valid allergic concerns out there, but there are also those who use this as a way to get special treatment, even though allergy free.
I once had a customer ask if she could have a different pasta in her dish because she was "allergic to fettuccine".
Excuse me?
You're allergic to a shape?
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #4 of 19
a regular luncheon guest (monthly meeting) mentioned he was allergic to nuts....a year + later, he then says he just doesn't like them. :laser:
HUGE difference.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #5 of 19
Same here, they ask me. I do not have eppi pen because I am not a Doctor or care giver and am not qualified or licensed to use one, Same reason we do not dispense asprin, it could have bad reaction on someone and I don't know if they are allergic to it, It's a crazy world out there and lawyers are hungry . Best bet call 911 in emergency they are qualified, Only thing staff should do and know is Hiamlich method. Its also a catch 22 if you do your wrong if you do not do your wrong. Who is victim here??????
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #6 of 19
Fom a customer standpoint, unfortunately I have multiple food allergies - gluten, seafood of any kind, sulfites(there goes wine and mushrooms), but... I'm always conscious of what I'm ordering and ask many questions about prep of foods. if something is the least bit questionable I will order the standby of cheeseburger, no roll and baked potato. (of course that can get screwed up, but it's usually ok) i don't expect the place to bend over backwards for me, just pay attention to the order.
kathee
post #7 of 19
Our college has a full-time nurse who informs us when new students have serious allergies, we keep eppi pens in my office along with a photo of the student. We try to label all our cafeteria food with clear labels i.e., contains nut, contains dairy, contains gluten etc. At the end of the day the students are told that they must ask the server if the food is suitable for them to eat, they are ultimately responsible for ensuring they only eat food that is safe for them to do so. To-date we have only had one silly girl with a nut allergy who eat a Stilton and walnut salad without first ensuring the food was safe (this was at a pre-plated lunch for 120 female students where we couldn't label each plate separately, although the invitation asked for dietary requirements with the RSVP)
UNDER PRESSURE AT PEMBROKE
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
http://thepembrokekitchen.blogspot.com/
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UNDER PRESSURE AT PEMBROKE
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
http://thepembrokekitchen.blogspot.com/
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post #8 of 19
Hello everyone, I've been lurking for a while - figures I'd join in on the discussions.

Food allergies - oh what fun

I bend over backwards to make sure that our guests are taken care of. If someone has an allergy, I want to know who and what and then I will direct the course of action. I have confidence in all of my staff (most of the time) but I don't mess with the health of our guests. Our staff knows what to do as we get requests all the time but I still go over ALL requests as this is not something that I want to mess with. On the rare occasion that I am not there, I know that everyone is well versed in what to do because I had made an example of the importance of this issue.

Some fun requests from the past.

"I am allergic to salt" - wow, really?, you look good for a zombie

"I am allergic to garlic" - said halfway thru the 3rd course which contained garlic, the 2 previous courses had a little garlic as well. How do these people survive?

"Does this dish have shellfish in it? I'm allergic." Again, halfway thru an entree. The menu clearly states that mussels were part of the dish.
post #9 of 19
Ok, first off,I try to make food allergy/veg/vegan people feel like they are well taken care of. Well, I guess if you just ask for a veg pasta you'll get it...but anyway, best "allergy" story i have is...

I was working at a restaurant when the chef left and I was put in charge, so I inhereted his menu, and given the time of year, I hadnt had the chance to rewrite it yet. Soa server comes in the kitchen and says that a guest wants the something or other, I forget, without the veal demi because she is allergic to veal. So I say, tell her its alright because its actually made from beef stock,not veal. Server returns and says that the guest says that is ok....lol!


And...as a sidebar... two jobs later I was telling this story to this GM I was working with, went to culinary schooland all, thought he knew everything, a real bas *** in his own head! So I tell it and he doesnt even gigggle. Ok. So, fast forward to the next job..he and I work together again, and im telling the story to someone else...they crackup, I crackup, and he finally admits that he doesnt get it.....really?? I told him and he really had no idea...wow, thats an epic fail! :lol:
post #10 of 19
You should have asked if he eat lamb or mutton:roll:
UNDER PRESSURE AT PEMBROKE
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
http://thepembrokekitchen.blogspot.com/
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UNDER PRESSURE AT PEMBROKE
Cooking sous vide at Cambridge's third oldest College
http://thepembrokekitchen.blogspot.com/
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post #11 of 19
OH WHAT FUN!!!! I know we all try to accomodate these guests ( some of which are just O.C.D. sufferers), otherS are for real, but still..
I`ve always dreamed of opening a a resteraunt called "REAL FOODS"! with REAL milk, meat, wheat,bread, pasta, sugar, butter,& vegetables! NO soy, lactose free milk, tofu, or sugar substitutes. If your vegan, have bogus allergies, or want special treatment, REAL FOODS IS NOT THE PLACE FOR YOU.......I know, its just a DREAM!....but we can still dream right????
post #12 of 19

Seafood Allergy sucks

I have a girl friend ones that has seafood allergy, men it's so sad coz I love seafood so much! so seldom go to seafood restaurant or dont order seafood...Gosh!! glad it's over now haha :look:
post #13 of 19
When I owned my restaurant I posted a note at the bottom of the menu that let ALL guests know that we used peanuts, peanut oil(even though its not an allergen), shell fish and dairy in many dishes and we would do what we could but couldnt gaurantee that we could be 100% accomodating. Nobody ever complained and nobody ever got sick.

Remember, you cant make everyone happy all the time
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #14 of 19
I think the frustration over allergies stems from people using them a an excuse to not have food they dislike or as a reason for a free substitution. Granted allergies are deadly serious but is is the people who are allergic to chocolate sauce but would like chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla (actually happened to me) who trivialize allergies for the people who have them. I would be more inclined if a customer said they did would like no salt on their dish for example,instead of crying wolf allergy.
When I go out and do not like something on a particular dish I ask politely if I could get a sub, guess what? 99% of the time the chefs are very accomodating. I find most chefs are very reasonable and will sub for you, sometimes you get an upcharge but thats life.
Fluctuat nec mergitur
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Fluctuat nec mergitur
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post #15 of 19
I'm allergic to eggs so when I eat out I ask the server if a dish contains any egg or traces of egg and if it does.. I order something else! At work when an order comes in and it says no kiwi or whatever I first get the server who put through the ticket to confirm if it is an allergy or dislike. If it's an ingredient ina fruit cup and it's a dislike I just pick it out, but if it is an allergy I will make them a fruit cup from scratch without the offending fruit, just so that there are no traces of it in there.
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #16 of 19
Here is the problem though, if ppl have severe allergies they cant eat out. A trace of protien in a pan, on a plate, on a untensil could make them sick. Why would you want to risk that, especially if you can die from it.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
post #17 of 19
for sure! My allergy is not life threatening but can make me miserable for a few days so I am very careful and I've had no problems eating out when it comes to that. I am sensible with it and I know what to avoid and if I am not sure I ask. I get more weird looks from servers when I ask to sub potatoes for extra veg as I cannot tolerate the texture of potatoes (thanks to my mom who boiled them to oblivion and then made me eat them when I was a kid!) than I do when I ask about the ingredients of a sauce as I'm allergic to eggs!
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #18 of 19
chefhow -
are you serious? not eat out? even though my seafood allergy is life threatening i figure i can at least go out to eat a steak. all i ask is that servers and cooks are smart enough to not cross contaminate my food. there should be no trace amounts of protien in pans if the sanitation is good.
and as for the celiac disease i have, it affects app. 1 in 133 people a considerable market share.
kathee
post #19 of 19
Scientifically speaking you are threatening your life everytime you go out to eat. Even in a steak house, where I'm sure they serve lobster and shrimp, if one dishwasher, cook or server is the least bit careless you could potentially end up in the hospital. I personally wouldnt want to put my life in the hands of somebody elses hygene and personally sanitation habits, but I am fortunate enough not to have any of those problems any longer.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
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