« Food Allergy Cures Around the Corner? | Main | Study Finds Peanut Allergy Can Return »

September 12, 2006

More than Just Common Sense is Required When Eating Out

"Takeaway dish nearly killed me." That's a quote from an article about a woman who ate take out Chinese food after being told it should be safe.

Rebecca Dale, 24, who lives in Broxbourne, suffered a severe allergic reaction when she ate food contaminated with peanuts from Taste Of China in High Street, Hoddesdon.

Miss Dale says she stressed her potentially fatal condition to the takeaway when she placed her order over the phone. She ordered one of the set meals, but asked for the single dish containing nuts - satay chicken - to be swapped for something else or left out altogether. The member of staff reassured her that everything would be OK.

But Miss Dale ended up eating a spare rib that had been separated and hidden from a nut-containing satay chicken meal by just a lettuce leaf.

Her mouth, throat, tongue and lips all swelled up and her boyfriend, Stuart Bates, 26, called an ambulance, but an adrenaline injection and ice reduced the swelling and she did not need to go to hospital.

Miss Dale, who has had her allergy since birth, said: "I could have died. It really did frighten me.

"If they couldn't guarantee that it was going to be nut-free then they shouldn't have taken my order."

I'm sure Miss Dale is an intelligent woman who has successfully managed her severe food allergies for years. When I read stories like this, I can't help but think, "It's Chinese food! What did you expect?"

I would consider taking my daughters with peanut allergy to an Asian restaurant if that particular establishment advertised a 100% peanut free menu. That is - they catered to the food allergy public. But a regular Chinese menu is going to be filled with peanut and other nut products. So, why take the risk?

Add this to the list of things in life I just don't understand.

Posted by David at September 12, 2006 11:26 AM