I’ve decided to start a blog for my precious daughter and others like her with food allergies. I personally have a peanut allergy, but it has never seemed to get in the way very much. My sweet 2 1/2 year old has egg, soy and legume allergies. We have to be very careful when eating out in restaurants that her food does not contain any of these allergens. Believe it or not, some restaurants and their staff are completely clueless about their specific ingredients and what a danger they can be to someone with a food allergy. One example of a clueless waiter was at Olive Garden. It’s supposed to be a family friendly place, right? When I asked the waiter to see which meals on the kids’ menu would not have egg, soy or legumes, he said that he couldn’t give out their recipes. Was he serious? When I clarified my request for him, he tried to take a guess as to which meals would be safe for my daughter. I’m sorry. I’m wasn’tgoing to take some pimply faced adolescent’s uneducated guess about what was or wasn’t going to harm my child. After much debate, I convinced him that the information had to be there. It took him about 20 minutes to determine that almost everything on the children’s menu, including the salad dressing and breadsticks contained egg. What an ordeal!! I don’t understand why allergy information is not readily available in restaurants, especially large chain restaurants. I also had an incident with Popeye’s Chicken. This is still unresolved. We LOVE Popeye’s Chicken, so when my husband brought a bucket home for dinner one night, I immediately jumped online to check out their allergy info on their website. It does not exist. I called the customer service number listed on the box of chicken. The lady I spoke with had no idea. She gave me another number to call, which sent me to voicemail. I left a message and also e-mailed my question about allergens. Meanwhile, my daughter did not get to enjoy the chicken with us. I waited and waited for a reply. When I didn’t get one, I sent another e-mail. Still no reply. It has been over 6 months! What is that all about?
I also wanted to start a blog about the restaurants that do a great job with their allergy information. McDonald’s, Burger King, Chick-Fil-A, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, and Papa John’s have information readily available on their websites. That’s how it should be. I should be able to get the info before I leave the house or at least when I arrive at the restaurant. Two restaurants have done a wonderful job with our family with customer service related to the allergy situation. The first was a restaurant at the Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World. This wasn’t a fancy place, but the chef personally came out of the kitchen to get more information about her allergies and make suggestions as to what would be safe for her to eat. Another accommodating place was The Cheesecake Factory. A manager came over with all the information and had a special salad made just for my girl. Very nice! When will everyone else catch on?