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Nov 1, 2007 01:55 PM

Food Poisoning/Allergy Protocol...thoughts?

I have a lethal allergy to sea food. I've had it forever, and either avoid being around it, ordering anything that might have it, or tell the server about it, to relay the chef.
That being said, I realize that I take risks whenever I eat out. Recently, I went to a place where I'd eaten a numbe of times. I told the waiter about my allergy, and didn't think anything more about it. Long story short, wound up in the emergency room with a needle being jabbed in my leg to bring me back from the brink.

So here's my question. Should I have told the restaurant about it? I mean, I did take the risk by eating there (vietnamese place and super yummy).... I'm not about to sue them, I don't want to make anyone feel bad...


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  1. I think you should mention it to the restaurant. You are their customer--the reason they exist. Without regular customers, restaurants will fold. If you remember the dish, mention it to them.

    1. definitly tell the restaurant , next time somebody might not be so lucky. Hopefully they will learn from the mistake

      1. Don't you carry an epi-pen?

        I know that lethal food allergies exist. I have one to peanuts. If you have a anaphalactic reaction to seafood, why don't you carry an Epi-pen, and why do you eat at Vietnamese restaurants (hard to avoid the fish sauce)? Also, ALWAYS tell your dining companions about your allergy and where you keep your Epi-pen. They make trainer Epi-pens, so you can have your friends & family practice injecting you.

        For people who want to learn more about deadly food allergies and how to react to them, visit the food allergy site:

        2 Replies
        1. re: bluemonster

          I had my epipen w/me. Somtimes, reactions are delayed, depending on the situation. In my case I felt myself getting a reaction, I immediately left, chewed on a some benedryl to see if that would do it, by the time I got to the emergency, it was quite clear to my friend that the pills wouldn't cut it, and of course the emergency room staff didn't do anything, so he was forced to give me my shot right there in the emergency room....

          1. re: rednax8

            Thanks, that makes me feel better. I know of two people (not friends, but distant acquaintances) who died from food allergies from "hidden" ingredients in food. Neither had an epi-pen on them.

            I can't believe that the ER didn't do anything for you... if it ever happens again, call 911--the paramedics can give you a stronger dose of Epi sooner than waiting at an ER.

            Good luck!!!

        2. Rednax8, glad your story had a happy ending. Just curious, are you allergic to all sea food? Do you think it was cross contamination or something in your dish? I am deathly allergic to shellfish & am always wary when ordering in Asian restaurants (shrimp paste, using same oil for deep fried food). For this reason, I don't eat at these restaurants often. Egg/spring rolls are about the only thing I order that are deep fried but sometimes I wonder...

          1. Yep, DEFINITELY tell the resto. While you're not about to pursue a lawsuit, the next person to have a reaction may go the other route. Also, the kitchen may need a refresher course in cross contamination. I have a severe nut allergy myself and take an epipen wherever I go. While I always inform my server of this I do realize that eating out is always a crapshoot. I'm sure the resto will thank you for letting them know (hopefully they'll also take the opportunity to apologize). My gosh, I'm glad you're okay!