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Potential allergy issue at local pub

(91 Posts)
Nonogran Thu 29-Apr-21 15:17:11

AIBU to expect that when I order a "Bacon & Brie on granary bread please" that I should get exactly what I ordered, the waitress having agreed it could be done?
Sandwich duly arrived but to my consternation the sandwich also had Chilli jam spread in it.
IF I had an allergy to such addition, it could have been disastrous.
Had a chat with waitress about it, sandwich now devoured, who basically shrugged her shoulders and clearly failed to understand my point at all. Her only comment was that the pub expected folks to say if they had an allergy to something in advance. I had no idea about the chef adding his own ideas to it so how could I?
No sandwich menu was available so we ordered simply what we'd had on a previous occasion. That time the sandwich arrived exactly as ordered without embellishment or addition.
My partner also does not get my point at all!
Good job I didn't keel over with anaphylaxis!!

H1954 Thu 29-Apr-21 15:23:19

I understand your concern totally! We should be able to order exactly what we ask for, providing the items are available of course. And you are right to be concerned about food allergies too.

In the event that I have a bacon or sausage sandwich/cob/roll, whatever it's called locally, I NEVER want butter on the bread but oh, the shock and disbelief from some of the service staff!

BlueBelle Thu 29-Apr-21 16:22:35

I think if you have an allergy you would always double check that there was nothing that would hurt you My friend is celiac and when ordering even the simplest item she always checks just in case there is some sauce or adornment that she hasn’t bargained for My daughter has an intolerance to nuts ( not a full blown allergy) and she always checks to if it’s a dish or a place she hasn’t been to so I think your husband and the waitress is correct

Sago Thu 29-Apr-21 16:25:09

It’s a tough one as so many people are allergic to so many things.
I would agree it is up to the customer to inform the kitchen.

I have a shellfish allergy but love fish, I once ordered a Dover sole dish, it arrived topped with prawns.
The waiter offered to remove the the prawns, he really didn’t get it!

Jaxjacky Thu 29-Apr-21 16:29:09

Anyone who has a strong, possible anaphylactic reaction to a foodstuff is diligently rigorous in checking. My grandson does he has epipens at home, school and we have one when he stays, all labels are double checked on foodstuffs. I agree with the waitress and your husband too.

sodapop Thu 29-Apr-21 16:33:52

In the case of allergies I think the customer should make it clear to the restaurant what he/she cannot tolerate.
I did send a bacon roll back once because they had put tomato sauce on it but that was just a preference nothing serious.

Katie59 Thu 29-Apr-21 16:37:10

It would be reasonable for the pub to mention Chilli Jam as an ingredient, but what about the ingredients to make it, it could have literally been anything.
Those with serious allergies would be far safer taking their own food, rather than expecting the caterer to cover everything.

BlueBelle Thu 29-Apr-21 16:40:41

Can I just add bacon and Brie does normally come with a relish accompaniment usually cranberry so I think the pub was quite correct in using a relish in the sarnie
I m sure if you dislike any additions you could have asked for no relishes

Blossoming Thu 29-Apr-21 16:42:43

I love chilli jam but I wouldn’t expect it to be automatically added to a sandwich. Plenty of people don’t like spicy food..

Galaxy Thu 29-Apr-21 16:50:47

Sorry can I just check that you are complaining about the potential for something to cause you an allergic reaction when you dont have an allergy.

PippaZ Thu 29-Apr-21 16:58:07

It's a strange one, isn't it? I have a very complicated list of food intolerances and I have always found restaurants and cafes amazingly helpful as soon as I have alerted them. Because I can't eat wheat I will always check that they serve gluten-free before I go there as that is the one most places concentrate on. I will then explain it's not the gluten but wheat and that I can't have lactose either - but I carry lactose-free milk with me if I'm eating out which helps. Next comes the fact that I can eat onions or garlic. This often rules out gravy on a gluten-free roast for instance but, as long as the vegetables are served separately I can select the right amount of those I can eat. I won't go on but what I am saying is that I am a really difficult customer to accommodate but most places bend over backwards to try to help.

However, I would have been miffed to have been served your sandwich, not because I would be ill but because I don't like Chilli Jam. I think anyone with a problem would have either rung ahead or talked it through when they arrived so I wouldn't see it as an allergy problem - you would spot it and ask the question but I do think it is poor service.

BlueBelle Thu 29-Apr-21 17:03:44

But if there is a relish added which isn’t advertised when it arrives or when you bite into it, you just call the waitress over and say I m sorry but I need it plain, then they take it away and bring you a plain one
It’s not poor service unless they don’t do that surely

Savvy Thu 29-Apr-21 17:04:04

I rigorously check when I eat out as I'm protein intolerant (no meat, fish or eggs.) Not an allergy, but enough to land me in A&E with renal problems.

The number of times I've checked and been told that no, they can guarantee that vegetarian meal has not been anywhere near anything that's meat, fish or eggs, and they have a dedicated vegetarian only fryer, only to double check and be told that they'd used the vegetarian fryer for cooking chicken nuggets a few days before and hadn't changed the oil! Cross contamination or what!

Jaffacake2 Thu 29-Apr-21 17:10:39

I suffer from anaphylaxis to wheat,nuts ,wine and prawns and have been resuscitated following collapse. I haven't eaten out for a long time,pre pandemic and may not in the future. In the past I have phoned to see if I can be safely catered for and then on arrival again ask the waiter to talk to the chef to ask if he is happy to cook for me. Many have refused to take the responsibility,which is fine by me.But if they do agree I expect it to be completely safe. Mistakes have happened in the past resulting in collapse and blue lighted to hospital.
People with serious food allergies will triple check everything or will not eat out. Friends and family understand that I may just sit with coffee and a large glass of coke,without lime as allergic to that too !

geekesse Thu 29-Apr-21 17:55:32

If you eat out, it’s quite normal for the cafe, pub or restaurant not to list every ingredient of every dish on the menu. If there are things you don’t eat or if you have a serious allergy, you say so before they prepare the food. Simple! All this posturing over a condition which the OP doesn’t even have is quite unnecessary.

Nonogran Thu 29-Apr-21 18:16:59

Hello Galaxy at 1650 today....
I don't have any food allergies or intolerances at all but I'm vexed because I might have & the additional chilli jam could have been an issue to someone else!
As a preference I'd have loved Cranberry with it but, today I forgot to ask for that!
There was no menu available ...."we're a bit behind with getting our sandwich menus printed" said the waitress do we went with what we'd had last week!
I'm really trying to establish a principal here which might, for someone else, have been disastrous.
I hope this has clarified my query & thanks to all who've contributed their thoughts.

Marydoll Thu 29-Apr-21 18:54:12

My son suffers from anaphylaxis and we and he always double check when ordering food.
It is the responsibility of the diner to alert the chef.
When my other son got married many years ago, the hotel went over and above to ensure he was safe, because WE alerted them in advance.
Most establishments have a notice asking diners to inform them of allergies when ordering.

EllanVannin Thu 29-Apr-21 19:59:08

I wouldn't put my trust in anyone if I had an allergy while eating out.

ValerieF Thu 29-Apr-21 20:54:40

I think you are being unreasonable tbh. You don’t have any allergies so making mountains out of molehills.

My experience of eating out is most places check if there are any allergies. Some smaller places may not, in which case it is up to the customer to inform them!

Not sure you are worked up about it? If you simply don’t like chili jam, ketchup, mayonnaise etc just tell them you don’t want it! Simples!!

Oopsadaisy1 Thu 29-Apr-21 21:24:09

If you have an allergy you should Always tell the staff before you order anything.

PippaZ Thu 29-Apr-21 22:10:51

Jaffacake2 I certainly feel the pressure has been off during the lockdown.

BlueBelle imo it is poor service. If it is not advertised as part of the dish is can easily be served on the side or separately. I am quite happy for you to have a different opinion. I personally just don't want to bite into something to find it contains something I would not, simply because I don't like it, want to eat especially something containing chillies. As far as I'm concerned it's too late once I have that heat in my mouth.

CanadianGran Thu 29-Apr-21 22:44:27

I don't really think every condiment needs to be listed, and people with allergies should make their issue known before ordering.

I'm not fond of mayonnaise (or any sauce containing it) so I will usually ask for 'no sauce' on a sandwich or hamburger. On occasion it has arrived with sauce, and usually I just scrape it off. Very rarely have I sent it back.

I do know a few people that have said they were allergic to something when they only have a dislike. I think this is a bit cheeky, but I guess it ensures they won't get the dreaded cucumber (or whatever).

Ro60 Fri 30-Apr-21 00:32:58

DD always asks for the allergy list which I believe establishments are obliged to provide.
These days it is getting easier but mistakes still occur so we do have to be vigilent. Also getting staff to understand the relevance of sticking to the script.
I know of a hotel - part of a chain where the chef would spice up his breakfast mushrooms veering away from what was stated on the company list.
I'm happy to have unexpected additions for myself and would say when ordering if I didn't want any deviations. For example, desserts I always ask for no custard, no pouring cream just cream on the side.
Nonogran, I hope you feel able to ask for cranberry sauce next time. I've found staff are usually happy to oblige - after all, it might lead to a tip!

grannyactivist Fri 30-Apr-21 01:04:28

I have a grandson who has a severe allergy (to sesame) and we are scrupulous about not just checking ingredients, but also informing waiting staff and impressing upon them that anaphylaxis will occur if any foods are contaminated. Our grandson has been policing his own food since he was about four years old, so I think anyone with a genuine allergy would most likely be doing the same.

SueDonim Fri 30-Apr-21 01:15:16

My dd lives with a flatmate who is severely nut-allergic. It’s been a learning curve for us, to say the least! Her friend doesn’t often eat out, she always take her own food with her. She’ll have a drink but not in places that supply almond milk - sadly the trend for non-dairy milks has reduced the number of places she can go. sad

She’s been nut-allergic all her life so it’s something she’s used to as she’s always done it. She’d have been very specific about her order, that’s for sure.