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AIBU to think that shops are getting less tolerant to people suffering allergies??

(27 Posts)
psychomum5 Sun 28-Apr-13 18:48:55

I have just posted the following on the Thorntons FB page.

"Really really unhappy.

I have a severe dairy allergy, and recently discovered the joy of being able to go into your coffee shops and be able to eat cake.

Namely, your gluten and dairy-free Brownie, and your Gluten and Dairy-free chocolate and orange cake.

I went today, to find that NOT ONLY had you changed the Brownie to no longer gluten and dairy-free, but also the chocolate and orange cake is also now containing milk.....and you have not put up a sign letting people know.

I only know as the very teeny tiny sing was different....the one sating the name of said cake - namely the brownie. I then asked them to check the chocolate and orange cake, and altho did still claim to be dairy free on the sign, the man behind the counter said it wasn;t.

Good job I checked....I would otherwise be very very very ill and possibly dead by now if not.

Now, for starters, why change something and now lose customers (not only me, but my friends and family won;t be going in), and why also not let people know and risk killing someone on your premises??"

What makes the above worse in that Nero coffee shop used to make a very lovely dairy-free cake - carrot cake - which they decided needed coconut in. Now, anyone who LIKES coconut might not mind, that, but I hate the stuff, and also, it kind of made the carrot cake now more like coconut cake..

I complained, they removed it completely rather than changed it back hmm.

Starbucks....they did a lovely dairy-free cake too. They just stopped making it, randomlyconfused.

And Costa never actually made anything anyway, altho I have since heard they make a giant Bourbon biscuit, so I might get lucky if they make it to the proper recipe (yet to find out).

Feeling at the stage that I am unable to eat cake anywhere....which surely by anybodies standards is pretty sad <pathetic sob>

psychomum5 Sun 28-Apr-13 18:50:02

and that isn;t even going into supermarkets randomly changing recipes to add milk when previously a particular item was milk-free

pate for a start!

CardiffUniversityNetballTeam Sun 28-Apr-13 18:52:58

Starbucks still have the dairy free cake <insider knowledge>

psychomum5 Sun 28-Apr-13 18:54:50

ah, do they....

Where tho?? As the last time I went in (admittedly just before christmas) they said they have NEVER made it hmm. Well, unless I was in a fake one previously I know they have.....but nope, the guy I spoke to claimed otherwise.

phantomnamechanger Sun 28-Apr-13 18:57:47

Thorntons have coffee shops?? Where are they?? (need to go google!)

I agree with you, I have 2 kids one DF and one GF - it is a bloomin nightmare knowing what you can get and where and the supermarkets are always changing their freefrom recipes and what they stock

people look at me like I am bonkers when I ask if the sausages/ham etc are dairy free! and some "cream cheeses" now contain wheat starch!

some cafes etc have stopped trying because they are so scared of being sued. I think that's terribly sad when all that is needed is better awareness and staff training to avoid contamination etc.

CardiffUniversityNetballTeam Sun 28-Apr-13 19:02:06

Whoever you spoke to is a liar! Perhaps they were just embarrassed they had sold out, or perhaps weren't aware it was dairy free.
There is definitely a wheat, gluten and dairy free chocolate and hazelnut loaf cake. All Starbucks also keep a sheet under the till called the allergen guide which lists all the cakes and shows what allergens they contain.
If you are really seriously allergic you can ask your barista for a cake that is still in its packet so it hasn't even been handled with the cross contaminated tongs.

Totally outed as working for Starbucks now, name change on the horizon methinks! grin

TeWiSavesTheDay Sun 28-Apr-13 19:04:26

It's a pita isn't it?

I guess if it's not profitable they won't stock it, but it's not on to change recipes without warning people.

I find it sad for my (lactose intolerant) DD as well, who can rarely eat anything in a cafe.

psychomum5 Sun 28-Apr-13 19:07:00

I am anaphylactic, so I do NEED to be careful.

The starbucks I found the fab cake in was in a motorway service station on the M1, and I was THRILLED.

The one claiming I was hallucinating them making one was in Southampton.

I live in Bournemouth, and yet to venture into it as I am still sulking wink.

Love that you know tho grin

Phantom - Bournemouth have a Thorntons coffee shop.....I actually don;t know how common they are tho! Being so allergic is a right PITA, especially with children (when mine were smaller is was VERY hard.....three of my five are milk intolerant). Easier now they can take control of their own food intake.

Andro Sun 28-Apr-13 19:07:06

YANBU OP, whoever decided to put cheese in frosting is a PITA...and don't get me started on sales staff who just shrug and say 'dunno' when you query the contents of an item angry

Oh yes, the other prize for top grade plonker was the one I spoke to about mayo on a sandwich. I asked if there was any mayo on a particular sandwich and the answer was no, 5 minutes, 1 bite and significant puking later I went back in and told the person that there was mayo somewhere in the sandwich. The manager nodded an d told me they spread the bread with it instead of butter...plonker's response was 'that doesn't count, it's not enough to matter' angry

CloudsAndTrees Sun 28-Apr-13 19:07:12

Maybe they are just finding there is no profit in offering he's allergy friendly things?

It is sad that you can't buy cake when you are out.

There is an independent cafe near us that does allergy friendly stuff, and even diabetic friendly stuff, and its all lovely. I'm sure people go there specifically because of what they have on offer compared to other places.

Happymonkeyboys Sun 28-Apr-13 19:08:46

I didn't know coffee shops sold dairy free cake. I would agree that the supermarkets can be unreliable with what they provide for people with dairy intolerance. Products seem to come and go just as you come to rely on them. Last Christmas my local giant ASDA took away a number of their dairy free products and when I enquired said they needed to make room for seasonal food. Merry Xmas to my DS who had lost his chocolate puddings!

psychomum5 Sun 28-Apr-13 19:12:45

TBH tho, how hard is it to make something Dairy/Gluten/Nut-free??

And when you do, does it actually taste different?? (IME, not at all).

So why not make everything allergen-free and then everyone is happy and fine!

<aware that isn;t actually practicable>

psychomum5 Sun 28-Apr-13 19:14:26

HappyMonkey, they don;t anymore :-(

well, bar Starbucks it seems grin

Asda used to also make a dairy-free jam sponge steamed pudding. Not anymore <sigh>

RedHelenB Sun 28-Apr-13 19:19:24

Gluten free stuff definitely tastes different!

phantomnamechanger Sun 28-Apr-13 19:26:34

Red, yes some GF stuff tastes different (the breads) but honestly once you know what you are doing, home baked cakes and pudds and scones etc taste no different - none of DDs friends have ever commented that anything we have fed them tastes any different to what they usually get at parties

trinity0097 Sun 28-Apr-13 19:30:16

I would have said the opposite is true and places are much more aware of people with allergies and try to be more accommodating. Take ASK for example, they now do gluten free bases for all but their folded filled pizzas.

psychomum5 Sun 28-Apr-13 19:30:25

Not all gluten-free stuff does.

It USED used top taste like cardboard, but it is much better nowadays and indeed, much easier to buy decent gluten-free flours and make your own at home that even my children fail to notice (the fussiest kids in the WORLD!).

Unless I am more used to it <possible>

psychomum5 Sun 28-Apr-13 19:32:18

trinity..... place ARE more aware....doesn;t mean they keep said products in once they get people used to expecting them.

Paintingrainbowskies Sun 28-Apr-13 19:32:56

It's a complete pain and YANBU. My daughter is dairy intolerant.

A friend has an egg allergy, when we ate out she asked if something contained eggs, manager said he couldn't be sure but 'don't worry if it does I will drive you to hospital, haha'. Idiot.

psychomum5 Sun 28-Apr-13 19:36:33

oh now that would make me mad!! Condescending twat!

phantomnamechanger Sun 28-Apr-13 19:36:41

the comments about "not enough mayo to matter" and "I'll drive you to the hospital" are horrifying! Just shows how some idiots really do think that customers with serious allergies etc are just being faddy.

Oh yes, how could I have forgotten - one coffee shop employee, when DDs GF brownie was not available, said she could have the regular one "just this once". Dipstick!

Xmasbaby11 Sun 28-Apr-13 19:40:35

YANBU. I thought things were getting better, too, but that sounds like such a pain. I know some cafes avoid fresh freefrom products because they can't guarantee lack of contamination, but the ones I go to have individually wrapped items.

PurplePidjin Sun 28-Apr-13 20:11:29

It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth from the other side too - i arranged to meet a friend in a specific place because she said she could eat cake there (gf free and dairy allergic). I get my cake, sit down then she comes over - no cake. Recipe changed. I eat mine feeling guilty that i get cake and she doesn't when it's supposed to be a treat for us both, wrecks the experience completely.

Bye bye Thornton's for me, I'll be going elsewhere in future! At least label the potentially toxic ingredients in writing big enough to read!

sydlexic Sun 28-Apr-13 20:20:20

I thought things were getting better too. Lovely chip shop near here where they list all the ingredients and allergens on the wall. Always nut free, they do gluten and dairy free evenings as well.

The local restaurants have books listing all ingredients and areas to prepare food separately.

trinitybleu Sun 28-Apr-13 20:28:53

Not cake I know, but Costas Ginger Biscuits are dairy free (or were recently) ... Big bits of stem ginger - yummy.

Nero - used to do a DF carrot and raisin cake. Not been for ages tho. Had long discussion with 2 Baristas as to whether the choc sprinkles were DF....

What winds me up ... "dairy free?? We've got wheat free ... Is that any good?"

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