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July 30, 2006

Mama Mia! What is up with this pizza place?

I cannot believe the conversation I just had with this pizza guy!!! We are on vacation and wanted to order pizza for dinner. I knew I needed to call to verify ingredients. No big deal. As you all know, this is a routine part of having a kid with food allergies. We’ve visited this area many times, so I called a pizza place that we’ve ordered from before (the same franchise, not the same location). I just wanted to make sure ingredients hadn’t changed.

After asking to speak with someone familiar with the food’s ingredients, I was basically told that it was easier not to make food for us because of the allergies. “Just to keep everyone safe,” he said. He’d hate to give “wrong information,” then we’d both “have problems.” The tone he used was very much a “I need to cover myself because I’m afraid of a law suit. I am pretty certain that he wasn’t truly the manger, or even a person with much tact. I wish I could quote this guy word for word, so you could all feel my shock. Huh? You’ve got to be kidding! In this day and age, in a big food franchise, uncertain about ingredients? So I questioned further, “You’ve got to be kidding. You don’t have an ingredient list or containers of food with ingredients written on them?” Well, yes, they did, he just didn’t feel comfortable serving food to us. “Why?” he asked, “Is this unusual for you?” “Actually, yes, you are the first person to basically refuse to serve me based on a food allergy. Thank you very much; I’ll take my business elsewhere.” Click.

Yes, I should probably call the owner, I’m sure the pizza would be safe (remember, we’ve ordered from there several other times), and the clueless gentleman (I’m being nice) I talked with on the phone would be reprimanded. At this moment, I don’t have it in me to make that phone call.

It was almost as if the labels on so many foods that read “may contain traces of (insert allergen here)…” came alive and started talking to me! I still hate the fact that so many safe products that my children used to eat now carry this allergy statement. Do you ever feel that there is so much CYA out there that you don’t know what REALLY contains allergens? But who’s willing to risk their child’s health, or life? Not me. I’d rather finish my vacation as a happy, healthy family!

p.s. I called another place unfamiliar to us. This guy was very polite and helpful; even though it turned out we couldn’t order food from them. We did end up finding an acceptable pizza to eat for dinner. All is well.

Posted by Ann Marie at July 30, 2006 8:05 PM