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Old 03-20-2008, 07:03 AM
 
3,490 posts, read 7,212,256 times
Reputation: 3947

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My husband and I went to a restaurant last Monday that we go to occassionally.

We ordered a starter between us, three drinks and two main courses.

Mine was chicken with pesto and mashed potatoe.

As soon as I took my first bite I knew that there was something wrong and called over the waiter to ask if there could possibly be Brazil nuts in the mashed potatoe. He didn't know, so went and came back with two brazil nuts - which were indeed in the mashed potatoe.

By this time my throat had started to close and my lips to swell up. My husband was on the phone with our local health center as the nearest hospital is nearly 20 miles away from here.

We got the bill and they had charged us the full amount of over $60 - including the two main courses which neither of us had eaten any of (I had one bite), my husband maybe had two before he saw me start to look odd.

Does this seem right to you?

We raced to the doctor where I spent the next two hours having my blood pressure taken and being given adrenalin and benadryl shots. The doctor was so concerned that he called the next day to make sure I was ok.

We never heard from anyone at the restaurant to see if I was ok, which is odd as this is a small community - that restaurant does cater to a lot of tourists, but you would think they would care about the locals a little more.

We went to our more regular restaurant on the Friday night, and I asked the owner what her thoughts were. She was shocked that the other restaurant would put nuts into food without telling anyone and thought charging us the full bill when we didn't actually get to eat was outrageous. She is good friends with the owner of the other restaurant and thought she should know what had happened.
So my husband went in on Saturday and spoke with the manager. He apparently didn't sound like he could care less and said he would pass on the message and someone would call us.

It's now Thursday, and we've had no call.

Honestly I can't believe it.

I do think I hold some responsibility - I KNOW I am allergic to brazil nuts, but never in over 30 years have I come across brazil nuts in savory food. I always ask before I have dessert just in case, but we eat out very regularly and this has never happened before. Last time I had an incident was more than 5 years ago, when someone had home baked cookies with brazil nuts. My Epipen was out of date I'm ashamed to say - of course I have a new one now.

So while I accept some responsibility, shouldn't the restaurant be offering an apology and picking up our check? $60 for food we didn't actually eat seems a bit steep to me - and nowhere on their menu does it say that they may use nuts in their recipes and to ask.

It's so dangerous - if someone had an even more severe reaction to what I have, they could die. Surely a restaurant knows not to sneek nuts into places you would never expect to find them (like mashed potatoe) without saying so on the menu??

What do you think - are we reasonable in our expectations, or was this all my own fault?
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Texas
690 posts, read 2,354,193 times
Reputation: 451
I do not think it was your fault at all. Who on earth would think to ask if there were Brazil nuts in the mashed potatoes?!? I've never heard of such a thing in my life. Besides, I would think they would print such a thing on the menu.

I am not surprised that the restaurant charged you for the full dinner. What I AM surprised at is that no one has followed up with you and your husband after he went and talked to the manager. Considering that you had this horrible reaction there in the restaurant and no one did anything about it then, you'd think that after having it brought to the manager's attention, they'd try to do something to rectify their actions from the original visit - or lack thereof, rather.

Is this a chain restaurant? Is there anyone else you can call - an owner? A corporate office? If so, I'd do it. The least they can do is offer an apology and pledge to change the printing of the menus so this never happens to anyone again.

I'm so glad to hear, though, that you came through it okay and are feeling better. Bless your heart - I bet you were terrified.
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Old 03-20-2008, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Everett, Wa
601 posts, read 1,709,667 times
Reputation: 670
Definately bad form on the part of the restaraunt. I've also never heard of nuts (of any kind) in mashed potatoes. They should have stated so on the menu. Sounds very unprofessional and I would be spreading the word in the local community. (you say it's a small town) maybe you can help save some one else from the same awful experience and by not patronizing that place any more, pass on a much needed message.
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Miramar Beach, FL
2,040 posts, read 3,425,026 times
Reputation: 930
Definitely the restaurant was in the wrong....I can't believe they did not compensate you for anything! In the restaurants I have worked in.....if this has happened they would have comped the entire check and took whatever measures to ensure that you were okay and take full responsibility for the mishap. This is just outrageous! Where was this?
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Looking East and hoping!
28,227 posts, read 19,210,597 times
Reputation: 2000000848
The restaurant was so in the wrong. Comp'ng your bill and ensuring your safety was and should have been their primary concern. Isn't there something in regs. that states they have to disclose nuts in the food as there are so many with life threatening allergies?

Me-I'd take it further maybe to your local Bd. of Health.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:07 AM
 
16,487 posts, read 20,332,656 times
Reputation: 16136
I believe a restaurant should have written on any food they sell a disclaimer if there are nuts in that item, if for no other reason that to cover their butts legally. They should have mentioned they put nuts in their potatoes (which I have never heard of personally). At the very least they should have written off your dinner and not charged you. Personally I would contact the restaurant and tell them if they do not make changes in their written menu and how they run things they are going to have someone die one day eating there. I would also add that you feel you should have had your dinner paid for and would like to either be reimbursed or have your next meal there "on them", assuming you care to eat there again.
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Table Rock Lake
870 posts, read 2,723,384 times
Reputation: 880
I think you should start by going back to the management. Then, if you get no satisfaction, I would get an attorney. I DON'T believe everyone should sue at the drop of a hat, but I think you have a case. You should be reimbursed for medical expenses, the meal and anquish. Their lack of consideration is bordering on neglect (ie: no nut/ingredient disclosure).
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Silver Springs, FL
23,440 posts, read 30,612,660 times
Reputation: 15560
#1, why in Gods name would anyone put brazil nuts in potatoes??????

#2, I think I would send the hospital bill to the restaurant, they are liable.
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:56 PM
 
Location: In a house
21,902 posts, read 20,895,074 times
Reputation: 14817
Quote:
Originally Posted by kshe95girl View Post
#1, why in Gods name would anyone put brazil nuts in potatoes??????

#2, I think I would send the hospital bill to the restaurant, they are liable.
I have to agree with kshe here! I do believe, I could be wrong, that the restaurants are suppose to label if any kind of peanut oils or nuts are used in their foods--just because it is fairly common for people to have allergies to these products. Then to be charged for getting so ill not only from the restaurant but the hospital? Something is very wrong with this picture. Perhaps you or your hubbie should tell them that the local papers would jump on your story...do they really want that? Especially in a small town? I think not!!
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Silver Springs, FL
23,440 posts, read 30,612,660 times
Reputation: 15560
Quote:
Originally Posted by cynwldkat View Post
I have to agree with kshe here! I do believe, I could be wrong, that the restaurants are suppose to label if any kind of peanut oils or nuts are used in their foods--just because it is fairly common for people to have allergies to these products. Then to be charged for getting so ill not only from the restaurant but the hospital? Something is very wrong with this picture. Perhaps you or your hubbie should tell them that the local papers would jump on your story...do they really want that? Especially in a small town? I think not!!
Exactly!!!!!! Yes, I would get the attention of the local media. Restaurants are required to post disclaimers, although quite a few dont, shame on them!
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