Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, Food Allergy Counselor (Picture © Noel Malcolm 2013)

Monday, December 07, 2009

Ask and Re-Ask

When dining out, it is vital to ask and re-ask about your dish and its safety.

Even when you’re a regular.

Even when someone has your allergies memorized.

It’s always your job to keep yourself safe, not anyone else’s.

Take for example last week. After seeing Oleanna on Broadway (it was quite good, dated, but good) former WFD assistant and friend Ami and I went to Nizza for an after-theater drink.

The bartender overheard me bemoaning the lack of appetizer-sized socca. Without telling me, he ordered some off-menu panisse, little sticks of socca served with aioli. He knows my allergies very well by this point and can list them from memory. Sweet! But he also knows that I will ask him to check ingredients of dishes I eat all the time because I have to.

I was peckish, so when the panisse arrived in their golden glory, I was ready to tuck in.

“Thank you, so sweet. But aren’t panisse deep fried?”

He said, “No! They’re baked.”

“Really? Great!” I was about to pop one into my mouth (where my bets are that it would have been fine).

The bartender, watching me about to eat a stick said, “Wait!”

He double-checked with the manager whether their panisse are fried or baked.

The manager said, “They’re fried. She shouldn’t have them.”

They were whisked away, no harm no foul.

Seriously, always double check. Ask and re-ask. Smile, be your kind self, but do it!

4 comments:

Erin S. said...

You are definitely right to suggest us to "ask and re-ask" but sometimes even that isn't enough.

I had made reservations for a dinner at Cook Shop this summer. I told the reservationist that I need a gluten-free meal and she said no problem. When I was seated, I told both the hostess and my server I needed gluten-free. I was excited to order polenta fries from the menu after confirmation with the waitress and her confirmation with the chef.

Alas, halfway through my appetizer they quickly came and snatched away my dish saying it was dredged in flour. I was so disappointed but more than that I was angry. I do not have an anaphylactic reaction to gluten, but I do have a serious reaction. The restaurant did NOTHING to redeem themselves and they left me quite upset.

Needless to say I will never return to CookShop.

Please ask, re-ask, and then ask again. It is your health at stake, not theirs!

kentcabe said...
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Angel said...

Oh do I know that well! After what might have been a Laffy Taffy Fiasco, we are doubling up our efforts on reading every label for Jediboy.

(turns out some Wonka products are processed in a shared facility, some aren't. JB ate one, which has been fine, but then complained of itchy throat, and then threw up about 8hrs later--delayed reactions not uncommon w/ him except for nuts, those are right away).

I am glad you were ok!!

Jenny said...

Thanks for the reminder. Very true! It always pays to be vigilant in a restaurant. You also show how important it is that you know HOW food is prepared as well as what ingredients are used.

BTW, Happy Hannukah!