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AIBU to be really pissed off with this Cafe?

(154 Posts)
mermaidofthewestside Sun 07-May-17 08:44:24

Morning MN
Went to a cafe yesterday with friends. My daughter has eczema & dairy products really affect her skin. She has not had any in 4 years.
Where I live there are a lot of places that do vegan/dairy free options & dairy free ice-cream is pretty normal everywhere.
They had one dairy free sorbet & I made it really clear that DD couldn't have dairy & asked him to check the cones were dairy free too.
After a few mouthfuls DD became upset & said she didn't want the sorbet & became very itchy. I put it down to tiredness because I didn't want to re-question the cafe staff & our friends had paid & it was quite a small place, so I did that 'don't-want-to-cause-a-scene thing & took DD home. By the time we got home 15 mins later her whole face had blistered & her torso was red & blotchy. She was very upset. I gave her some piriton but DD was unable to go to her friend's party in the PM as she was so itchy & upset.
I rang the cafe to get a list of ingredients as she'd reacted so badly & they told me it had milk in!
They were apologetic & said if we wanted to come back they'd make sure DD got a free dairy free treat but today I feel really annoyed that DD had to put up with some major itchiness & miss out on a party & her day was essentially ruined because of their mistake.
I don't want to give them a slating on Tripadvisor or anything but don't feel very happy about all this on reflection.... WWYD?

RedHelenB Sun 07-May-17 08:47:15

They made a mistake and apologised. I think you should have asked for a list of ingredients before choosing her ice cream.Hope she feels better this morning.

ImStickManThatsMe Sun 07-May-17 08:48:21

Its not unreasonable to be pissed off, especially as you checked and double checked with the staff about the sorbet being dairy free.

But. They've apologised and offered a free treat, which understandably you may not want to take them up on, that's up to you. What else would you like them to do?

LindyHemming Sun 07-May-17 08:48:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

insancerre Sun 07-May-17 08:49:27

Trading standards
Their processes are not working and they need to know that allergies can kill
They need to know they could end up with a criminal conviction

newdaylight Sun 07-May-17 08:52:06

if the cafe weren't sure they should have told you so. They said it was dairy free and they were wrong. Hopefully a lesson learned for them but it could have been very serious.

Heirhelp Sun 07-May-17 08:53:08

It is a big mistake to make and although your daughter reaction is painful and upsetting for someone with anaphylactic reaction the outcome could have been much worse. I am not surprised that you are annoyed.

Willyorwonte Sun 07-May-17 08:53:30

Never trust the staff of eating establishments. I'm sure they meant well but, in the nicest way, it's your responsibility to check until your child is old enough, it also teaches her what to do for herself later on.
Sometimes they just don't know that dairy products have quite a few different names.
I would ask to see the packet and check ingredients list myself.... every time.
I hope she feels better today.

mermaidofthewestside Sun 07-May-17 08:54:33

They told me the sorbet was dairy free. I took their word for it. I've never asked to see an actual list of ingredients anywhere & just assumed as a small cafe they would know whether it was dairy free especially due to potential customer allergies but also in a place where there are a lot of vegans.
Not sure what else I'm expecting - just venting really!

bigchris Sun 07-May-17 08:54:48

Agree with insancerre

Willyorwonte Sun 07-May-17 08:55:08

My child has suffered anaphylaxic shock several times... I just wouldn't take the risk.

insancerre Sun 07-May-17 08:56:03

This is want could happen

springflowers11 Sun 07-May-17 08:57:13

I don't know what people expect you to have done differently. The op did double check!

Mouikey Sun 07-May-17 08:57:27

This is very serious. Recently a curry house owner was convicted of manslaughter (or similar) for preparing a curry with nuts in when it was expressly requested that the customer was allergic (he used a nut based oil from memory - so didn't put nuts in iyswim). He got a prison sentence as he had been previously warned about it.

Personally I don't believe an apology and a 'here's a free treat' is acceptable. Anyone with allergies knows how debilitating it is and most people understand that it can also kill.

I would report this to environmental health on Monday. New rules came out in the last few years and that's why you see signs about allergies on menus etc. I'm sure the cafe is lovely and all, but they need a strong, firm kick up the arse about this so that all their staff are trained (which is probably where the problem lies).

FrenchMartiniTime Sun 07-May-17 08:58:11


If you knew your daughter was adverse to dairy YOU should have checked the ingredients.

You can't just assume other people will do this correctly when it comes to allergies.

Sorry OP but tough lesson learned.

TrickyKid Sun 07-May-17 09:03:08

Yanbu.Hope your dd is ok.It's scary how food allergies are not taken seriously, they shouldn't have told you the cone was dairy free unless they were 100% sure.

SomewhatIdiosyncratic Sun 07-May-17 09:13:35

We were at a wedding. DS (a toddler) had several allergies/ intolerances as did several other guests. The caterers had gone to good efforts around accommodating appropriate foods. DS's main course arrived with his dry new potatoes on his plate as the communal ones had butter on. I gave him vegetables. He scoffed them. I gave him seconds and then realised they'd been buttered which hadn't been apparent until the bottom of the dish was exposed. We hadn't been warned, no alternatives had been offered such as with the potatoes and it hadn't crossed my mind as I don't butter veg anyway and I'd been informed about the other substitutions.

Many of the guests were woken in the night were woken by DS's piercing screams as his digestive began what can best be described as a week long shit attack. He were on holiday a couple of days later and thank goodness had an apartment with a washing machine.

Really, I should have made the caterers aware of the error. It wasn't ideal circumstances as it was a wedding, DH and I were occupied with key roles plus our toddler, I was struggling with early pregnancy and our holiday/ couple's honeymoon made it awkward to give timely feedback.

For packaged items such as ice cream/ sorbet it's not hard for them to check a label correctly rather than guessing and avoid making people ill.

CrazyOldBagLady Sun 07-May-17 09:13:51

I would suggest contacting environmental health via your local council. I think this is a pretty serious matter and the cafe could make someone else seriously ill next time due to their carelessness.

insancerre Sun 07-May-17 09:18:24

The op did check. She asked the staff. And they have a legal obligation to tell her which of the 14 allergens are in their products
If you ask for a dairy free sorbet, its fair to expect the staff to check that the cone the sorbet is in is also dairy free

SoupDragon Sun 07-May-17 09:27:51

I would take her intoday and show them what their mistake did. Make it clear that for a more severe anaphylactic allergy the result would have been even worse. Nothing like an actual example of what happens to make them understand better.

TreeTop7 Sun 07-May-17 09:29:40

They were lax. The next customer to suffer as a result of their inertia may end up far more seriously ill - someone posted the link about the curry, it was the first thing I thought of too. If staff are this unbothered/untrained about dairy they're probably the same about nuts.

I think that you should report them. Not for compo, but so that it can't be brushed under the carpet to the detriment of future customers' health. It teaches DC a good lesson about the importance of this too - it won't be long before she's out and about with friends and having to deal with this stuff herself.

redexpat Sun 07-May-17 09:31:01

I think in future I would assume that cafe staff etc cant be trusted and just ask for a list of ingredients. You shouldnt have to, but its not worth the risk.

SavoyCabbage Sun 07-May-17 09:33:24

I always check myself. I've stood at many a soft play party reading boxes of dreadful chicken nuggets. Puts you off eating anything at all.

I have always steered her away from things that might contain her allergen when we are out as I think that is part of dd having to manage her allergy. She's allergic to peanuts so at home she will eat cereal (a food with a high chance of cross contamination) but not at a sleepover or on holiday. It's about reducing the risk, making sure she can enjoy herself (not throwing up at a party for example) and also ensuring that she understands that she can't always eat things that other people are eating.

ASDismynormality Sun 07-May-17 09:35:42

Have you got a picture of your DDs reaction? I feel that you should show them a picture and also print out some info about the severity of food allergies and intolerances. They need to understand how important it is to check properly when a customer asks them too.

RitaMills Sun 07-May-17 09:37:23

I'd do what SoupDragon has suggested, it could've been so much worse for someone else.

I don't see what you could've done differently either, of course it is your responsibility to check, and you did do... twice so I'm a bit baffled by the posts putting the blame on you.

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