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Geffrye museum cafe tell me i can only feed my baby 'baby food in jars produced in sterile factory conditions'

(77 Posts)
krisskross Mon 20-Dec-10 16:34:34

We went to the Geffrye museum in London yesterday, as we do every Christmas.

My husband and I went for lunch in the cafe with our two children (aged 1 and 3). As we waited to order our lunch we got out some food to feed our children. As we did so a member of staff came to tell us we could not feed our children our own food from home.

I explained that we were ordering two adult lunches but the children would not eat this food. The waitress insisted this was the policy. I asked to speak to the cafe manager and she explained that we could only feed our children 'baby food in jars, produced in a factory in sterile conditions'.

I explained that I do not feed them this kind of food- they generally eat home cooked food. She insisted that this was for health and safety reasons- but then relented and said we could feed our 1 year old her pasta, but could not give my son his sandwich. Whilst we were glad to feed her, I was surprised a 'policy' could be so inconsistent!

When my husband asked if this policy was displayed anywhere the manager said it was but was unable to show us and then relented as a compromise 'just this once'.

What a ridiculous policy! I have never experienced such a policy in any visitor attraction, cafe or pub and it seems such a shame, as the geffrye museum actually makes a real effort to keep pre school kids entertained.

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 20-Dec-10 16:36:06

What an absolute load of arse.

Stupid lot. Please complain about this, that is completely unacceptable.

LittleMissHoHoHoFit Mon 20-Dec-10 16:38:09

Oh FFS, I hope you ignored them. Utter tripe.

Write a stiff letter of complaint.

Tori27 Mon 20-Dec-10 16:38:30

How unwelcoming and un-child friendly. In future I'd just lie and say DS has severe allergies and it's a medical thing. Shouldn't have to lie though. I wouldn't go back. Hope the museum was good.x

ChristmasTrolleyRage Mon 20-Dec-10 16:38:47

Utter fuckwittery.

Complain.

Unless they've got some formal policy available to view, I don't think they've got a case.

jessiealbright Mon 20-Dec-10 16:39:12

There's been a serious case of "Chinese Whispers" here, hasn't there!

I wonder what the hell it was they twisted into this absurdity?

A (perfectly understandable) policy that the cafe would only provide jarred food for babies, and wouldn't try and make their own baby food, perhaps?

GrimmaTheNome Mon 20-Dec-10 16:39:25

Is all the food they serve in this cafe 'produced in a factory in sterile conditions'? hmm

If it is I wouldn't feel tempted to eat there and if its not then they are being totally ridiculous.

LynetteScavo Mon 20-Dec-10 16:40:05

It'll be so people don't bring picnics. Don't they do children's food?

scurryfunge Mon 20-Dec-10 16:40:15

I've looked on their website and can't find any such policy -sounds like she was making up an excuse because they do not want people having a home made pic nic at their tables.

CoronaAndLime Mon 20-Dec-10 16:41:29

I would not expect to be able to bring food into a cafe for my 2yr old so to expect to do so for a 3yr old seems a bit off.

Yanbu not feeding your 1yr old from jars though.

Dh and I have always ordered things that we could share with the dc - its good for them to try new things.

MumNWLondon Mon 20-Dec-10 16:41:59

Although I would bring food for a baby who still needs purees into a cafe/restuarant (and wouldn't see a difference whether a jar or homemade, I wouldn't use their spoons or plates).

I wouldn't ask to feed an older child with pasta / sandwich from home. At what age do you cut that off? Is it ok to feed a 5 year old with food from home? Or an 8 year old?

I would always order something from the menu for my kids, or give them some of what I was having. Most restuarants will do kids portion of pasta / simple sandwich for kids.

TheCrackFox Mon 20-Dec-10 16:43:10

Well that sounds very bizarre.

However,........do you not think it is a little bit cheeky still taking your own food into cafes/restaurants for a 3 yr old? Surely there must have been something on the menu suitable. They do have to make a profit!

FindingAManger Mon 20-Dec-10 16:43:34

The policy is clearly a shambles & the health & safety excuses re the baby food is a nonsense & YANBU to be annoyed.

However I don't think it would have been unreasonable for you to buy a sandwich from the cafe you are eating in for your 3 year old. I can see why they objected to you bring your own sandwiches - they are a cafe after all.

It's certainly not unusual at all for a food establishment/cafe to ask you only to consume food you have brought there only (and not food from home or brought from elsewhere) - though clearly exceptions need to be made for babies.

But re the sandwich for the 3 year old YABU.

lalalonglegs Mon 20-Dec-10 16:43:58

If I were running a cafe, I wouldn't want people bringing in their own food. There must have been something in there - a bread roll or a piece of fruit - that your children could have eaten.

krisskross Mon 20-Dec-10 16:44:43

I thought as first they thought we just sat down expecting to eat all our own food- so politely explained we were eating but the children werent. but they still werent having it! And they werent even very nice about it!

They do kids food- but DD age 1 is super fussy so i wouldnt take the risk, and DS age 3 is pretty good with what he eats- but as i didnt know what their kids meals would be (they looked fine though)i brought food from home.

I have sent an e mail to complain, and I never complain!!!

masochismTangoer Mon 20-Dec-10 16:45:55

I thought most food places did not like you taking in your own food and eating it in their establishments. Though I do not think this is due to health and safety.

Our DC were all weaned at 6 months and by 9 months could usually find something on every menu we encountered they could eat. Though it was harder with eldest who had food allergies but still always possible.

Definitely try writing and see what their policy actually is at least next time you would know what to expect.

CoronaAndLime Mon 20-Dec-10 16:46:02

lynetteScavo

What is childrens food?

I've been feeding my lot the same as dh and I confused

MumNWLondon Mon 20-Dec-10 16:46:31

In fact on thinking about it maybe the policy is because they don't want people bringing picnics from home for their kids, unless they really are babies eating jars of baby food?

The health and safety thing I have come across before, DD was at a nursery where they didn't let food in. They said that if there was any cross contamination and another child was ill (ie not my child) it would be their fault and they didn't want to take this risk.

Still think YABU to ask to feed 3 year old sandwich from home.

FrostyAndSlippery Mon 20-Dec-10 16:47:21

How odd and ridiculous. I've fed my DCs home cooked food in anywhere from macdonalds to posh bistros etc, never ever had a complaint.

Pleeeeease write to the local paper you know you want to

onceamai Mon 20-Dec-10 16:47:28

It seems absurd and very badly communicated. Have just had a look at their website and think it looks a fantastic place though and the entry fee was only 2pds per adult and free for children.

If the cafe menu said no food other than that purchased here is to be consumed on our premises I don't think they were being unreasonable and this probably explains why your dd was allowed her pasta (presumably it wasn't on the menu) but the ds wasn't allowed his sandwiches (because they were on the menu).

Sounds like a combination of bad communication and extreme pettiness but the cafe staff might be under "orders" if funding is very tight or about to be pulled.

Poor you though.

cockles Mon 20-Dec-10 16:48:49

Isn't it run as some kind of training scheme? They are quite odd there anyway in my memory! They do do perfectly reasonable kids meals though.

HalfTermHero Mon 20-Dec-10 16:49:21

YANBN re the 1 year old but YABU re the 3 year old. The cafe has to draw a line somewhere or else half the customers might end up taking advantage and eating food from home.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 20-Dec-10 16:49:52

If they'd said that you weren't allowed to provide your own food except for baby food, that would have been quite normal. I'd have thought the 1 year old would still qualify as 'baby'. But, that's not what they said, the stuff about 'factory/sterile' was silly.

My DD was fussy, will NOT eat any sort of butter or spread in a sandwich (still won't at 11, actually) and we have always found it possible to get a plain bread and ham or cheese sandwich made for her.

EricNorthpolesChristmas Mon 20-Dec-10 16:50:15

They have gone a bit wrong with their H&S policy - they aren't allowed to heat up home made baby food for customers, only unopened jars. Your baby is allowed to eat whatever you give it, if they don't provide food suitable for babies. I can understand them being hmm about you giving your own food to the older child, I wouldn't do that, but then a restaurant should be flexible if you adults were eating.

LynetteScavo Mon 20-Dec-10 16:51:20

CoronaAndLime, children's food is either a snack box containing 5 different items, or fish fingers and chips are sausages and chips.wink

Ideally "childrens" food/drink would be "adults" food, but in smaller portions. My favourite cafe does this, plus luke warm hot chocolate. I don't like buying a full adult meal for a child. I then feel obliged to finish what's left, just because I've paid for it.

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