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Noodle Box unconcerned of allergies [moved from B.C. (inc. Vancouver) board]

[NOTE: We've moved this thread from the B.C. board because it's turned into a discussion of how diners with allergies should communicate with restaurants, and that's a topic that's relevant to all diners. -- The Chowhound Team]

curious if there's other accounts of this but boyfriend had ordered take-out from one of the noodle box's in Victoria and made a request for beef, double meat. they interpreted this as two meats, one of which was shrimp. guess who has a shellfish allergy?

after the trek home and a bite into it, tingly lips and the offending protein was found. it could have been bad, very bad. so a call was made to the people at the noodle box and while they were pleasant enough their only response was to offer a replacement only if he could come in and claim it that night. he had already endured a 30 minute venture home, trekking another hour to get his correct order that wouldn't have sent him into anaphylactic shock wasn't something he was up to. he asked if they would deliver it. No. What if he paid their service fee? No. no noodles for dinner, i guess.

he sent off an e-mail to the owners and no response two days later. terribly disappointing.

i'm rather upset that he essentially paid for a near visit to the hospital.

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  1. What they did doesn't make sense, but neither does the fact that he didn't mention that he has an allergy to seafood.

    3 Replies
    1. re: julies1949

      he's ordered from them several times before without this issue, the same order. the order doesn't include any kind of seafood, so why should they include any?

      1. re: pinstripeprincess

        Why should they not?

        It's the customer's responsibility to inform the business of any allergies.

        1. re: Sam Salmon

          why are they selling people a product they didn't request? there was never any shrimp in this dish, so why should it suddenly appear when it's not part of the dish?

    2. No, if he has a potentially lethal seafood allergy, regardless of whether or not he is ordering a dish with seafood potentially in it, he should be declaring that allergy. Southeast Asian food is loaded with fish sauce, shrimp paste and other things that could trigger a reaction. Let alone. The potential for cross contamination with an allergen. Sorry, he needs to be explicit.

      1 Reply
      1. re: peter.v

        he has ordered the dish multiple times before, checked for allergy issues at first order and there were no concerns. why would he check every single time afterwards? i'm not sure what is going on in BC but i would consider receiving the WRONG order bad service, i would consider not being told of a substitution bad service, and i would consider not being helpful in replacing the dish with the one he had actually ordered bad service REGARDLESS of the allergy.

      2. Restaurants make mistakes .. For something that could send him into anaphylactic shock, a 5 second explanation is pretty important. Every time.

        1. So, in summary:
          1) boyfriend has fatal allergy to shellfish.
          2) boyfriend ordered noodles from Asian-themed restaurant and didn't mention fatal allergy.
          3) noodle dish had shellfish.

          Glad he's ok but I see absolutely no fault with the restaurant here. I don't understand what kind of response you expected from them, given they weren't at fault (that they offered to replace the dish without cost was particularly nice of them, actually).

          And, frankly, knowing many people with fatal nut allergies, I've seen them go through the pre-ordering "you realise I could die if you get this wrong" spiel. I'm shocked it's not in his usual ordering routine, particularly given it's an Asian restaurant and curry pastes, sauces and other things are made with dried and fresh shrimps all the time.

          1 Reply
          1. re: reiney

            Was the shrimp visible in the take-out container ? I'd imagine there'd be at least one in there. But sadly your boyfriend obviously didn't see it, and suffered for it later.

            I can see PSP's point of view in that, her BF ordered the same dish several times before without issues. And this time he expected the same, and may have just chowed down into it before realizing there were shrimps in there.

            But based on what PSP said, I too would think it'd be prudent for her BF to have been over-cautious given the seriousness of his allergy. If I had a serious, potentially-fatal food allergy, I'd scrutinize each and every food order (eat-in or take-out) to the Nth degree, no matter if the vendor/restaurant had a perfect track record or not. Staff changes, transcription mistakes, verbal mistakes, language issues ...... all kinds of things can lead to errors like this. Like others said above, it'd take a few extra seconds as a customer to ensure what was ordered match what was received. Especially if shrimps were visible in the take-out (and even if not, like Peter V. said, many cuisines' ingredients contain "hidden" elements that may be of risk to someone with allergies).

            At the end of the day, we are relieved your BF was ok at the end. Let's hope lessons learned will prevent future mishaps.

          2. Sorry to hear about the boyfriend ... but this story reminds me of a famous movie quote:

            "Assumption is the mother of all f*ck ups!"

            If one has an allergy that may lead to anaphylaxis (serious, serious stuff) ... the onus is on YOU.

            Let me be clear, the onus is on YOU to take care of yourself.

            Mistakes happen, communication problems happen, wrong perceptions and plain stupidity happens. People can't read minds or see into your soul.

            Just because things worked well before does not mean it's guaranteed for the next time.

            Even if the cook was your boyfriend's mother and knew of his allergies intimately and historically ... one little brain fart can lead to shellfish being added into a dish. Again, mistakes happen. All. The. Time.

            Coming to an internet forum without an iron-clad case won't fulfill your wish to have everyone completely agree with you.

            3 Replies
            1. re: bill_n_opus

              i didn't ask for everyone to completely agree with me, nothing is iron-clad on internet forums, period.

              that it is somehow his fault that they gave him an order that was INCORRECT seems to somehow bypass everyone here. apparently i'm the only one here that thinks it's basic service to get the food that i actually ordered.

              1. re: pinstripeprincess

                No, I think that's basic service, too. But your reaction to the goof is larger because of the context of the allergy. If this had happened to you, and you just don't care much for seafood, I seriously doubt that you would have made the original post.

                I'm gluten free. I'm a regular at a local Thai restaurant. When I forget to ask/remind and they accidentally gluten me? MY FAULT.

                1. re: Vetter

                  when you order food, the likelihood of you requiring to ensure you are getting a gluten-free version of a dish is much higher than ordering a dish that doesn't include a known allergen (from prior experience) and receiving it.

                  unless of course you're going to a restaurant that is gluten-free first and you have to request the gluten.

            2. I'm glad your BF is OK, but I'm not sure what you expect the restaurant to do when your BF did not explicitly state to them when ordering he has a shellfish allergy.

              I have a serious allergy to asparagus. I always tell restaurants (even if I've already been there) of my allergy if I see asparagus on the menu or I see the term "seasonal vegetables". I have found all restaurants to be accommodating in Vancouver. I have had offers of substitutions and even had restaurants clarify about cross contamination.

              In the end, it's my well being and I don't want spend time at a hospital so I always say something.

              Now if your BF did tell them about the allergy and they still served him prawns then you would have every right to be upset.

              Even then, if the restaurant makes amends with in reason that should be OK too. The Noodle Box doesn't do deliveries, so why would you expect them to deliver it to you since it's outside of the normal business practices? Where would they find a driver? If they did it would be above and beyond what is expected.

              3 Replies
              1. re: moyenchow

                the noodle box does do delivery from their douglas location.

                you make the point that you tell them about your allergy "if you see asparagus on the menu" so you do take the risk of not mentioning it every single time that you eat out.

                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                  You know, I think everyone has a point about mentioning the shellfish allergy at an Asian restaurant...even if ordering "beef only" there! If he was ordering at a typical pizza or hamburger place- maybe not worry about it so much.

                  Ask most vegetarians- Asian restaurants can define "meat" very differently. I was a vegetarian for years and love almost all SE Asian food but chicken stock, fish stock, shrimp paste, fish sauce, etc is often not considered "meat" and will often be cheerfully offered to vegetarians when requesting meat free dishes.

                  I also think people with deadly nut allergies should double and triple check before ordering baked goods in a bakery...even if it is a item not normally including nuts. Better safe than sorry and the deck is just stacked against you in certain environments.

                  1. re: sedimental

                    it's an "asian" restaurant run by caucausian folk.

              2. I think this thread is a good reminder to everyone about the adage "Buyer Beware". Again, it was very fortunate that the OP's BF came out ok.

                1. Wow, I'm almost speechless. To use a format someone else used in their reply:

                  1) PSP's bf orders Item A because he can't (won't/doesn't like/gets offended by) Item B
                  2) PSP's bf receives Item B

                  How is it her bf's fault because he did not specify that he didn't want (for WHATEVER reason) the shrimp? KNOWING that there's none of "Item B" in the dish he ordered, would it also be his responsibility to mention that doesn't want tofu, pork, chicken, dog, cat? It's doesn't matter the reason he can't/won't each whatever reason, if the menu says that it's beef, and he already knows that it's beef, why should suddenly be worried of there being shrimp surprise? If I don't like sweet potato fries, and I go to a restaurant that has them on the menu, do I need to specify when I order french fries to make sure they're potato each and every time I go?
                  The restaurant shouldn't be adding willy-nilly ingredients when they haven't been ordered.

                  Princess, let me be the first to agree with you that he was in the right to be upset in my opinion.

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: Midknight

                    I'm with you, Midknight, restaurant was in the wrong, period.

                    1. re: TorontoJo

                      and the restuarant offered to replace the dish. What else would we expect?

                    2. re: Midknight

                      I get that he ordered steak and got steak and shrimp. Yes, that sucks, however there have been numerous times in my life upon arriving home with take-out that it has been wrong. I recently ordered a pizza half veggie combo, half pepperoni. I picked it up, got to my friend's house, popped the top, and we realized it was all veggie combo (basically every veggie they have, artichokes, fresh tomatoes, etc), half with pepperoni. I, the pepperoni eater, was disappointing because I do not like the veggie pizza because I think it is simply too overloaded. Did I freak out, get upset, and post on the internet about how Pizzeria X made an outrageous error on my order? Nope, because mistakes happen. I called them, we realized there was an understandable misunderstanding in my order. They offered to bake me another pizza. I declined, as I didn't feel like making the drive, and in the future I will always check my pizza/take out order/etc before leaving the restaurant or drive-thru.

                      The situation the OP brings to us is compounded because her BF has a shellfish allergy. I can understand it would be incredibly difficult to see your loved ones suffer potentially fatal conditions because someone else made a mistake, but I think that is why so many posters have expressed that it is up to those who have life threatening allergies, etc to inform the people making their food. Mistakes happen, it is a fact of life. Life is too fleeting to not take the 5 sec to notify someone who prepares hundreds a meals a night that they have to be especially careful this order. It doesn't matter if it wasn't an issue before, mistakes happen.

                      1. re: Midknight

                        Wait, so are we outraged that the restaurant (maybe) screwed up the order or are we outraged that that (possible) screw up ended up in an allergic reaction?

                        Screw ups happen (as do recipe changes, btw). And can be calmly dealt with in a "hey, this isn't what I ordered" or "since when does this dish contain prawns?" kind of manner. And most certainly do not warrant the OP's attempt at defamation in an internet forum (or seeking sympathy, whichever).

                        If the outrage is about the allergic reaction, then the onus is 100% on the customer to alert the restaurant to the allergy regardless of what is ordered. Particularly a shellfish allergy in an Asian restaurant. Full stop, end of story.

                        Situations like this is why people don't trust Yelp reviews/ratings and restaurants roll their eyes at them....

                        1. re: reiney

                          +1. I feel bad for this restaurant. This isn't a deserved tarring. If he'd disclosed and they still goofed, that's another thing entirely.

                          1. re: reiney

                            the restaurant screwed up an order.
                            i'm not satisfied with how they chose to respond to it because they refused to deliver a replacement of the CORRECT order even though they have delivery service and the delivery fee was offered to be paid. an e-mail about the situation afterwards hasn't been responded to, ignoring the customer isn't a way to deal with anything.

                            that service level, is why i'm asking if anyone else has dealt with the same thing. it seems no one on this thread has been to the restaurant.

                            i'm also frustrated with this latent racism. just because it's an "asian" restaurant does not mean that the people running it are ignorant to our north american ways of what "meat" means. it's a caucasian run place! he is fine with trace amounts and doesn't require separate non-shellfish work stations to remain safe.

                            regardless, most restaurants in north american have separate cutting boards for exactly that! meat, veg, shellfish etc. adding shrimp to an order that should never had have shrimp is a bizarre substitution.

                            1. re: pinstripeprincess

                              wow, none of these comments have anything to do with racism.

                              If you are allergic to gluten and you go to IHOP for breakfast and order an omelette, thinking you are safe with that choice....wrong...they use pancake batter in it. They wouldn't tell you that -and you wouldn't be expected to know that- but if you are really intolerant or allergic to flour and you go to a PANCAKE HOUSE ... it would be smart to make it clear that you can't have flour.

                              Same with any Asian place (for rice, soy products or shellfish) or a bakery (for nuts, yeast or flours) or an East Indian place (for legumes, pulses, yogurt)...etc.

                              The posters here are just talking about common sense and caution when ordering any food from a cuisine where the "offending ingredient" is present in a *significant portion* of the food prepared there. Vegetarians can find wonderful creamed spinach, salads and breads in a steakhouse...but common sense would dictate that you ask each time if it is THAT important to you. Racism has nothing to do with this conversation.

                              Sure you can get a flourless chocolate cake in a bakery...but if I had a serious reaction every time I ate flour- I would ask EACH time I ordered it.

                              1. re: sedimental

                                there have been comments about the restaurant not understanding what "meat" is on the basis of culture.

                              2. re: pinstripeprincess

                                It sounds like he got someone else's order. Unfortunately, that does happen from time to time. As someone who used to be allergic to peanuts (I outgrew the allergy in my teens), I was always taught to inspect all foods in restaurants for stray peanuts. Once in a while. I'd find one, especially in Chinese restaurants. At school events and birthday parties, I was taught to tell the host "I'm allergic to peanuts. Can you please make sure my food does not have peanuts at all?" I would think your BF would do the same, especially in places that also serve shrimp, where an errant shrimp could mistakenly get mixed into the food.

                                Also, you are upset that the restaurant wouldn't drive 30 minutes to your house to deliver replacement food. I dont think most restaurants would deliver within a 30 minutes radius -- that seems quite far to deliver an order of $10 noodles (or whatever they cost). Even if you paid a $5 delivery fee, they would spend $10 to pay someone to drive an hour, plus the cost of gas. They would essentially lose money.

                                1. re: boogiebaby

                                  he walked 30 minutes and does not own a car.

                                  1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                    Sounds like a good reason to double check the meal before heading home. Mistakes happen. I don't think the restaurant was being malicious. I've certainly gotten wrong orders before. It only takes a few seconds to take a quick peek to ensure the correct food is there.

                                2. re: pinstripeprincess

                                  Really? They delivery area encompasses a 30 minutes driving distance? I don't know any delivery places that will drive that far.

                            2. Next time make sure he says 'double beef' rather then just double meat, I have seen in many noodle box type restaurants menu items that include surf and turf, or prawns with pork/beef. Pretty common combination for that type of dish.

                              I get that he did not get what he wanted, but the restaurant did offer to rectify the situation, so you should not be completely upset with them. I understand that it is an unsatisfactory solution for you, but I have also experienced this policy in many fast food establishments. I got an incorrect pizza one time and they would only replace it that night which did not help me since I had to go to work that night. I had no choice but to suck it up as they did offer to rectify it and it simply did not work in my case.

                              It sucks, but sometime restaurant/corporate policies suck, and you can either continue to give them your business in the future and check the meal there, or stop giving them your business. Mistakes happen, and 100% satisfaction can't always happen, but they did make an effort to facilitate you, they would have replaced it for free.

                              That he is allergic has nothing to do with the situation unless he had mentioned the allergy.

                              As an aside to allergies, I can not stress enough that you MUST ALWAYS EVERYTIME mention an allergy. ALWAYS. I was in a restaurant with my family and dairy allergic nephew and as he was young my sister ordered him either chicken wings or fried fish, I forget now, but she did not mention an allergy. She did ask how it was prepared, that it was simply dipped in flour and then fried, so she left it at that, without mentioning the allergy. Working in the food industry, I made a scene with my sister and made her tell the server about the allergy, who then told the kitchen. It turns out that in that particular country or restaurant anyways, there was powdered milk in the flour for whatever reason. If my sister had not mentioned the allergy, and assumed simple flour was fine, my 4 year old nephew would have had an anaphylactic reaction in a foreign country on our vacation.

                              No matter how innocent, no matter how sure you think you are of the ingredients, not matter how many times you frequent a place, ALWAYS mention the specific allergy.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: TeRReT

                                <I can not stress enough that you MUST ALWAYS EVERYTIME mention an allergy. ALWAYS.>

                                I agree. Ever if you know the owners/chefs in person, which I do for a few restaurants, you must always mention it. You never know if the information is lost somewhere in the ordering/making process. In addition, always look at the food just to be sure. If you are extremely allergic, then don't even eat at these noodle box places. There are always trace of previous foods lingering in the cookware and the utensils. Such as life. It is your own health at the end.

                              2. I completely feel for you and your boyfriend, and wish the restaurant business would take food allergy more seriously. That being said, it is what it is now, and so the consumers have to take the blunt of responsibility. We can debate what is fair and what is not fair, but the truthful and practical solution is to take our own responsibility for now. It is our health and our life at this point.

                                As for whose responsibility? Knowledge is power, and no one knows more about his own health than your boyfriend (maybe aside a few doctors). This both gives him the power and the responsibility. Why? Because he has the most knowledge.

                                1. Not to sound like I'm piling on but…

                                  I think it is clearly incumbent upon a person who has a severe food allergy to inform a restaurant of this every time he orders, no matter how many times he's ordered from there before. If I were allergic to do it ingredient, each and every time I ordered I would say, "Remember, I'll die if there's any (insert deadly food ingredient here) in it." Or maybe something simple like, "Remember, no (deadly food ingredient), please." This is especially true for an Asian restaurant where, as others have pointed out, shellfish ingredients are "everywhere."

                                  It would also seem to me that, unless it was pitch dark, he should have been able to tell the difference between beef and shrimp, even from an Asian restaurant. All Asian restaurants I have eaten at the beef is usually in flat thin strips whereas shrimp is usually round and plump (sort of). Even if the beef was chunks, I can usually tell the difference between the two. Since you indicated it was a 30 minute trek home I assume he was not eating in the dark once he got there.

                                  Other than replacing the dish, which they offered to do, what more did you actually expect? I agree that if they had delivery service they should have replaced the dish and delivered it for free.

                                  From your OP and subsequent rebuttals to other comments I get the following:
                                  1. Boyfriend ordered from the Victoria Noodle Box.
                                  2. Boyfriend walked approximately 30 minutes home with his order.
                                  3. Boyfriend unexpectedly bit into a shrimp and had a mild allergic reaction.
                                  4. Noodle Box was called and the mistake explained.
                                  5. Noodle Box offers to replace the meal if he could come and get it that night, but NB wouldn't deliver.
                                  6. You and Boyfriend found this unacceptable.
                                  7. Boyfriend emailed establishment and has received no reply.

                                  What I don't get is what you *are* wanting from Noodle Box. Do you want free food for life? Do you want the owner publicly flogged? Or maybe both? Or were you just venting?

                                  As for...
                                  >>>
                                  i'm not sure what is going on in BC but i would consider receiving the WRONG order bad service, i would consider not being told of a substitution bad service, and i would consider not being helpful in replacing the dish with the one he had actually ordered bad service REGARDLESS of the allergy.
                                  <<<
                                  I'd be willing to bet that poor service or mistakes by restaurant personnel are not an epidemic limited to British Columbia. I be willing to bet it happens all over Canada, and possibly even in the United States. I agree with you that not replacing the dish and delivering it to you is bad service, but is not limited to BC.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: al b. darned

                                    do you seriously think he bit into a piece of shrimp without noticing? the food was cooked with shrimp, meat releases juices and kind of touches everything else in a stir fry style noodle dish. he ate something, felt something wrong and then found the pieces of shrimp.

                                    i would like noodle box to respond to the e-mail with an apology and to make some kind of show of concern that something had happened to one of their customers. even if they said that he should remind them of all allergies regardless of the order, i would have been perfectly happy with at least acknowledging that something wrong had occured and that they would try their best to take precautions in the future. if they had given him credit for one dish, that would have been fantastic.

                                    and yes, you are piling on because you're one of the many people here who are extracting their own version of the situation from what i had written. beyond that, this post was for the BC board, asking about a small chain restaurant in their area and EVERYONE seemed to ignore the fact that he simply did NOT order shrimp. It also irks me to no end that this is a "if i was allergic...." well you aren't and how you would choose to live your lives with an allergy that you had to deal with every single time you ate something, i'm very sure you would take measured precautions of when you warn someone and not say it every single time you were consuming food you didn't make.

                                    1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                      No one is ignoring the fact that he didn't order shrimp. What has been stated time and time again is that mistakes happen. You get the wrong topping on your pizza. You get pork when you asked for chicken. You asked for no cilantro and you get extra. It could happen for any number of reasons. The person taking the order wrote down the wrong thing. They didn't understand what you actually wanted. The person making the order couldn't read the order. The wrong button accidentally got pressed on the POS. The cook just flat out made a mistake and grabbed the wrong protein. Maybe he received someone else's order? What people are trying to say, is that mistakes happen. Unless you have reason to suspect the mistake was intentional, get over it and move on. If you feel that such a mistake is absolutely unacceptable, don't go back. I, and it seems other people, realize that mistakes and errors happen at all jobs, and unless it is consistently being messed up or there seems to be some level of intentional neglect, don't stress about it.

                                      Yes, yes, but he is allergic to shrimp? That doesn't even factor into this situation because he never notified them of his allergy. How were they to know that he is allergic because he ordered beef? Perhaps he doesn't care for shellfish. Perhaps he was craving beef. Those things are much different than being allergic. Had he stated upon ordering that he was allergic to shellfish, and they still put shellfish in the meal, it would be a completely different story, and that you should be taking it up with management/ownership. However, as it stands, he simply got the wrong order. I'd guess that happens on at least 5% (probably higher?) of orders per day, if you take into account all food serving establishments.

                                      1. re: pollymerase

                                        Pollymerase is 100% right.

                                        Mistakes do happen, and a restaurant should correct that.

                                        But you don't get to play the "they could have killed me with my allergy" card unless they were informed of the allergy to begin with.

                                      2. re: reiney

                                        <any further apology would be an indication of being at fault (which they are not) and open up to further legal complications>

                                        I agree. We are in a messed up era of our time. Sometime you are discouraged to apologized. At the end, I agree.

                                        1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                          >>>
                                          do you seriously think he bit into a piece of shrimp without noticing?
                                          <<<
                                          Are you saying he knew it was shrimp and bit into it anyways? I was saying shrimp looks like shrimp and beef looks like beef. I was asking how he could not distinguish between the two… even in Asian food.

                                          The title of your post suggested you were concerned about the allergic reaction your boyfriend had to the offending shrimp.That,and in the last line of your OP where you wrote, "i'm rather upset that he essentially paid for a near visit to the hospital." That seems not to be the case, and your real gripe is you were not treated like royalty when a minor mistake was made.

                                          I conceded to your argument they should have delivered the replacement meal.

                                          If you are really that concerned, why don't you hike your fanny down to Noodle Box and ask to speak to the manager. In polite tones explain to him or her that you were shocked and horrified that you received SHRIMP when you did not order it. Then, again in polite tones, ask how it is possible that you received SHRIMP when you did not order it and ask what steps would be taken to ensure you never received SHRIMP again unless it was specifically asked for. If the answer you receive this is unsatisfactory simply vote with your boyfriend's wallet and take your business elsewhere.

                                          There is a small pizzeria chain near us with decent food that made numerous similar small errors. Though each error was politely compensated for, we got to the point where we decided there were enough other take-out joints in our area who did not make mistakes, and we ceased doing business with them. When we made that decision, I called the restaurant and politely explained to the manager why we were taking our business elsewhere. She again apologized for the poor service and thanked me for my comments.

                                          Though it has been difficult, we have since gotten on with our lives.

                                          1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                            >>>
                                            It also irks me to no end that this is a "if i was allergic...." well you aren't and how you would choose to live your lives with an allergy that you had to deal with every single time you ate something, i'm very sure you would take measured precautions of when you warn someone and not say it every single time you were consuming food you didn't make.
                                            <<<
                                            WRONG!

                                            Mrs. abd once had a mild reaction to something she ate a couple of years before we got married. She felt the reaction was caused from eating peanut butter, and had suddenly developed an allergy to peanuts. While the allergy tests were "inconclusive" (one test said she was allergic to peanuts, and another said she was not) she decided to err on the side of caution and refrain from peanut products. Since that day she religiously reads ingredients and any time we go out to eat she, in fact, does say to the server, "I'm allergic to peanuts. Please ask the chef to make sure there is no peanuts or peanut products in my order." Not sometimes, but Every. Single. Time.

                                            And we've lived happily ever after.

                                            1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                              My husband IS allergic to shellfish. Do you really think he goes to an asian restaurant and just orders without telling them? No way! He orders, then says "I am allergic to shellfish like shrimp, so please make sure that my beef lo mein doesn't have any shellfish. Thank you". The server isn't psychic, nor are the chefs. He still does this even at the Chinese restaurant we have been regulars at for 15 years. You never know when they may have a new chef or new server who doesn't know him or his allergy. They might accidently add shrimp and then just pull the pieces out and think "oops, this wasn't supposed to have shrimp in it, I'll just remove it."

                                              I WAS allergic to peanuts for many years. It was my responsibility to point that out to everyone that I was allergic. It's common sense -- He should have told them, even if he didn't order shellfish.

                                              FWIW, I think their response was perfectly acceptable. I just can't believe you are holding someone else accountable for your boyfriend's inaction instead of saying "my boyfriend probably should have told them, which was his fault, but I'm not happy with how they responded." This is not about them being unconcerned with allergies, it has to do with you getting the wrong food, him being allergic to that food without them knowing about the allergy, and then their refusal to bring you new food. You can't hold someone accountable for something they were never made aware of to begin with.

                                          2. It's odd that they would have substituted shrimp for some of the meat when someone asks for beef double meat. I don't think under normal circumstances you'd need to mention an allergy to seafood. I'd have expected double beef.

                                            Having said that, expecting them to make a 30 minute one way delivery? Ya that isn't going to happen. I'm also not sure how they would have given him any of kind of gift certificate since he wasn't there in person when they were notified.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: rasputina

                                              >>>
                                              expecting them to make a 30 minute one way delivery? Ya that isn't going to happen.
                                              <<<
                                              This is one place where I agree with the OP. She said he had to "hike 30 minutes" home and later stated he had no car, so I am assuming that means he lives no more than a couple of miles or so from the joint. I, too, would is expected them not only to replace the order but to deliver it for free.

                                              1. re: al b. darned

                                                but we don't know all of the circumstances..weather, functionality of the delivery vehicle, whether or not the delivery guy came to work or not (including for a legitimate reason) --

                                                But if it's a 30-minute hike home, it does make one wonder why he didn't just order it to be delivered in the first place....all conjecture.

                                                1. re: al b. darned

                                                  If it was a 30 minute walk,the boyfriend's walking time it certainly wasn't a 30 minute drive.

                                              2. I believe the Noodle Box should have delivered a replacement order to your boyfriend. From now on, I would also recommend that he make his shellfish allergy clear when placing any food order.

                                                1. had this been posted by a non-allergic person, it would have read something like

                                                  "Noodle Box FTW! Ordered beef, upgraded to shrimp!"

                                                  It's all in perspective...and the biggest issue is still that your BF didn't mention his allergy when he ordered. It doesn't matter that he orders from them all the time -- all it takes is one new employee, one busy night, or one person distracted by (insert reason here) and it's the same as if you never told them.

                                                  it's his allergy -- it's his medical issue -- therefore it's HIS responsibility to manage it -- and that means telling every restaurant every time.

                                                  1. I didn't even consider the title of this thread in regards to the actual issue at hand. In all honesty I would request a title change as the title is borderline slanderous. Your issue is of customer service complaints. Allergies can't be an issue as the restaurant never knew of the allergy. You can't infer the company does not care about allergies from this situation , even if they have not replied to your emails.

                                                    1. Noodle Box's website says, "The Noodle Box prides itself on being able to cook for people who suffer from a wide variety of food sensitivities. Celiacs, and the lactose intolerant are commonly catered to with a variety of menu options available to them. When confronted with an allergy, our cooks will reset their station with fresh utensils, cloths and clean hands, and pay close attention to the cooking process to ensure your confidence in the integrity of our product. Having said this, we cannot guarantee anything 100%, wok frying can be chaotic and we ask our customers to take responsibility for making informed choices about their diet."

                                                      Does that sound like a restaurant that is "unconcerned of (sic) allergies"? To me it sounds like the exact opposite- a restaurant going above and beyond to accommodate diners WHO INFORM THEM of allergies.