Food Allergies and the Food and Beverage World
So those that know me or have read my blog previously will know that in the Allergy department I wasnt that lucky. For the past 6 years I’ve been living with severe food allergy to berries. Most people find it amussing that someone that works as a Manager in Food & Beverage has a food allergy and wonder how I can continue to live day to day without being able to eat a super red berry. I havent always been allergic and used to love eating them. Boysenberry ice cream and strawberry jam are the two things that i miss the most. I at times have talked myself into believing I can eat them but nope, soon enough the series of symptoms rare their head and my lips immediately start to tingle and I break out in hives. Really not worth it for that taste. My allergy developed after a weekend of when I was living in QLD of the over indulge. Strawberry Cocktails, Champagne and eating them. My body just said no to the antibody found in them and no more. As I’ve gotten older my intolerance has gotten worse. I cant even touch a strawberry without my hands swelling, itching and when I eat them forget it. Not fun.
Do I miss them? Not at all, we dont even have any in our house to the point now that Tim doesnt even really have them when I am around anyway. We’ve developed a mutual loathing. While my allergy isnt as common as something like nuts. I have met a few other people that have it.
I find that in my everyday work that because I am aware of the severity of food allergies and the impact they can have on people ( with death being the final straw) I have instilled in all of my staff a service culture, even creating a component of Allergen training for them. Always check the ingredients and if your not certain it’s better to say no.
You find also that the universal dessert garnish everywhere is a strawberry. I’m sorry but I dont care for them. I’ve now even made my cocktails lists less berry heavy after my last nemesis tried to kill me I’m sure by putting every single cocktail on our lists berry heavy and Tim ammended his dessert menu accordingly. The only thing that irritates me is when places get caught out and put a berry on there only to send it back and the dish comes back, you can still see where it was. Replate the dish idiots, this isnt something to play around with.
So this week i went to dinner at Circular Quay and ordered the dessert on the menu that wasnt the obvious berry choice, to cover myelf I checked with the waitress who in turned went out the back to check with chef. 100% certain no berries, sure I’ll order. Consumed, paid the bill and on the bus. 20 minutes later I can feel my face and lips swelling, air way becoming restricted and yep the tell tale sign of hives. Houston we have a serious problem here. Foruntately for me I had my oversided hand bag full of everything for a rainy day, medicine in check. Finally home but looking like i lost a fight or had a serious case of botox and sure enough anaphalaxis we meet again. No use to go to the hospital as I had everthing they could have given me, except I could wait in the comfort of my own home. 2 days off work, feeling crappy and itchy and agitated and well I”m lucky I was prepared.
So it turns out after speaking to the Head Chef and GM of the Restaurant they were at fault, sultanas soaked in Chambord and dried Raspberries in the mix, here i was thinking I was now allergic to nuts or coconut.. That would suck. Clearly they were negligent and are doing everything to apologise. Will I sue, they probably think I could and may have a case too, but whats the point? My recommendation to them was to provide their staff with serious training about the severity of allergies. If your not sure, then say your not sure. I would have rather them said so I would have opted for something else rather than now be sick and on high dose steroids which I feel at any minute I’m going to turn green..
I know accidents happen, but when I”m so careful and cautious myself it annoys me that someone elses ignorance or lack of giving a shit does have consequences. Take your $100 gift voucher and you know what, stick it. I’d name and shame but it’s not really worth it.
Just annoying now because desserts my favourite thing and now I have to be be carefull or go without because someones error.