The new loop hole - 'please inform your server of any allergens you do suffer from and although we can cater for allergies we don't have an allergy free zone where we prepare our food and dishes.'
This to me is saying - yes sure we will alter dishes but we won't clean surfaces properly or take the time to ensure that food does not experience cross contamination, so if you become unwell we have informed you and aren't to blame.
Quite frankly is you have prepared a gluten free dish in an area where gluten has been prepped for another dish then how can the establishment say they 'cater for allergies'. They clearly don't.
This to me isn't good enough. It doesn't take two minutes to wipe down a surface! Surfaces should be regularly wiped and cleaned down anyway for food hygiene. So why can't the time and precautions be taken to ensure food for dietary requirements are met efficiently to avoid any reactions or illnesses. The above quotation is coming across as a half hearted effort to look like they cater well for allergy sufferers.
Despite asking for no oil, butter etc on simple veggies the waitress came over three times to tell me that the veg although steamed is prepped and made in areas where oil and butters have been used along with gluten, wheat, egg and dairy products. I can't exactly say no to simple veg however otherwise I literally wouldn't be able to dine with my friend. Again embarrassing - for feeling you are causing an issue when you know full well they are panicking about it because they don't have efficient precautions and regulations in place.
To top it all off I know I have maybe caused a little bit of a fuss with my order but it isn't like I have asked them to cook anything totally different or difficult, I simply asked for the nacho chips with no toppings - so no cheese, salsa, guacamole, hot peppers or sour cream and I get charged for the full nacho dish despite saving them money on ingredients and having far less on my plate.
When will laws and regulations become stricter? As I go home and spend the night being unwell, to then have to function through a whole day the following day on no sleep and feeling rough just because I wanted to do what is 'basic' activity see & meet my friend.
So my friend gets a pizza, chips & a drink for £8 and I have got a side of chips, a small dish of nacho chips, a few carrots and peas and a drink for £11.
When you don't have that much food in front of you in the first place, you have the risk of feeling unwell, you have paid a lot for what you are getting and you have had the embarrassment of ordering & stressing your issues, it's all very upsetting, stressful and makes it SO hard to do something so simple - eat out!
This is why we need to keep fighting and raising awareness. Consistency in what restauarants can offer you & their regulations need to be kicked into touch. Why should I be able to order boiled rice with no oil one day then go back a week later and be told this isn't possible?! Causing restaurant picking also an anxiety triggering activity and not a fun one.
Dining out - I would never turn down an opportunity to eat out with family and friends. Enjoy a night off cooking, enjoy delicious food and amazing company but now it is getting to the stage where it is such a stressful experience that you no longer want to go or worry about going. The excitement is being sucked out of a social activity that such and is known as a pleasure.
We need to keep raising awareness and ensure that restaurants, food outlets, drive through's and shops because more aware, stricter with their regulations, recognise the dangers and be more accommodating.
Knowledge is power!
Establishments should welcome the challenge of wanting to take on this ever growing issue and want to help themselves grow and lead the way not be looking for loop holes, half-hearted efforts and what I see as smoke screens put in place not proper regulations or willingness to address the issue professionally and properly with care.
Have you had any bad restaurant experiences?
Do you have a restaurant you regularly visit because they cater for you well and do have safe regulations in place?
We always need to keep an open mind and be thinking outside the box.
Thank you for reading and don't forget to reach out and have your say!
Love and peace - S xoxo