Man dies from shell fish allergy at Olive Garden

22 replies [Last post]
By B's Mom on Mon, 04-14-03, 11:57

Man dies after being served miss handled food (shell fish allergy) at the Olive Garden.
see [url="http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-3/1050214525157930.xml"]http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-3/1050214525157930.xml[/url]
He did not carry an Epipen with him. Very sad.

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By margaret on Mon, 04-14-03, 13:00

"Burger King Corp., with 8,000 restaurants in the United States, avoids formulating any food that contains peanuts, tree nuts or shellfish, a spokesman said" A quote from the above article. What does that mean for the upcoming fried pb and j allegedly coming soon at a BK near you?

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By MommaBear on Mon, 04-14-03, 13:18

i WONDER what pan was used to make the scampi. I *personally* would not allow my son to eat off of food cooked in pans that were used extensively to cook peanut or nut dishes in. Even if they were washed well.

No EPIPEN?

Disclaimer: This post not intended as advice in any manner or form.

__________________

"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

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By MommaBear on Mon, 04-14-03, 13:21

Quote:Originally posted by margaret:
[b]"Burger King Corp., with 8,000 restaurants in the United States, avoids formulating any food that contains peanuts, tree nuts or shellfish, a spokesman said" A quote from the above article. What does that mean for the upcoming fried pb and j allegedly coming soon at a BK near you?[/b]

Who knows. Possibly a disclaimers posted in various conspicuous locations at such establishments?

Disclaimer: This post not intended as advice in any manner or form.

__________________

"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

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By Going Nuts on Mon, 04-14-03, 14:02

Yikes, if that isn't a scary article, I don't know what is. It could really put a person off restaurant dining for good.

But wow, why didn't he have an Epipen? Why am I asking - my cousin doesn't carry one (allergic to tree nuts), my friend's ex-husband and son don't carry them (allergic to fish and shellfish), all despite knowing better. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Amy

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By Heather2 on Mon, 04-14-03, 14:10

First of all, this is why first responders need to have EpiPens and be trained on how to use them. Second of all, I plan to send this article to Burger King and point out that their "spokesman" said they avoid peanuts, yet they're planning on putting peanut butter on their menu. Maybe we can get them to change their minds. Especially since that article heavily points out the scariest words to the restaurant industry "law suit".

Incidentally, my best friend, the daughter of a cardiologist, is allegic to shellfish and doesn't carry an EpiPen. My ds has a friend who is allergic to peanuts and doesn't carry an EpiPen.

[This message has been edited by Heather2 (edited April 14, 2003).]

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By Going Nuts on Mon, 04-14-03, 15:35

Heather2,

Regarding those who don't carry epipens, does this make you as crazy as it makes me? I'm telling you, it makes me absolutely nuts (no pun intended).

Amy

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By B's Mom on Mon, 04-14-03, 17:29

Amy,
Yes. It makes me crazy that these people do not carry EpiPens. I think a lot of the problem has to do with them not being well informed on how serious food allergies are. Maybe some were told by their doctors to

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By Going Nuts on Mon, 04-14-03, 21:12

You are so right, B's Mom. Our own allergist, who I consider to be quite good, just told us to avoid peanuts and sent us on our way. [b]I[/b] was the one who asked if he needed an epipen. He never told me about how to read a label, may contains, or anything. And folks who grew up before food allergies became so "mainstream" didn't benefit from all this knowledge.

This article has really gotten under my skin today. Can you tell? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]

Amy

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By mae on Tue, 04-15-03, 03:27

Amy -me,too - I can't stop thinking about it.

Why wasn't he carrying an epi-pen?

Why did his wife order extra shrimp - knowing it was a *risk*?

With more that one known allergy -restaurants are risky - take pre-cautions!

"Chicken Scampi" - I assume "scampi" means with Shrimp - or some form of shrimp -or maybe it means something different in Italian - I'd never order it if I were allergic to shrimp.

I feel terrible for the family.

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By MommaBear on Tue, 04-15-03, 11:43

I am remembering someone on this board who stated a restaurant refused to serve them.

__________________

"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

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By Heather2 on Tue, 04-15-03, 13:47

Amy,
It sure does!!! DS's friend's mother thinks I overreact about the allergy. That makes me mad. She's not mean about it, she just makes her thoughts known. I've eaten out with both people (my best friend and this little boy's family) and neither tells wait staff about the allergy. It sure does burn me!

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By KarenD on Tue, 04-15-03, 17:45

You know what they say...most deaths occur because epi-pens aren't reached in time. It's common sense!!! I will never understand why some people refuse self help. It's life or death we are talking about. UUUUGGHHHH!!!

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By Jana R on Sat, 11-12-05, 17:14

Can anyone tell me this man's name?

------------------
Jana

[url="http://www.seattlefoodallergy.org"]www.seattlefoodallergy.org[/url]

__________________

Jana

[url="http//www.washingtonfoodallergy.org"]www.washingtonfoodallergy.org[/url]

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By Jana R on Thu, 01-12-06, 21:57

Thank you to a member of KWFA who sent this to me - there is a lot to learn from this tragedy so I'm posting the article for educational purposes:

[i]InfoTrac Web: Custom Newspapers.

[b]Man's death underscores food allergy concerns; Widow suspects shrimp may
have been added to his restaurant meal.[/b](NEW JERSEY)
CT The Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ)
DP April 13, 2003 p021
LW 021
ND 20050829
OT (NEW JERSEY)
PB The Star-Ledger
PT Newspaper
RM COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group
ZZ

Source: The Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), April 13, 2003 p021.

Title: Man's death underscores food allergy concerns; Widow suspects
shrimp may have been added to his restaurant meal.(NEW JERSEY)

Electronic Collection: CJ99971130
RN: CJ99971130

Full Text COPYRIGHT 2003 The Star-Ledger. All rights reserved. Reproduced
with
the permission of The Star-Ledger by the Gale Group, Inc.

Byline: CAROL ANN CAMPBELL

Karen Garry Allison watched her life change in the span of two hours. She
and
her husband of five months, Keith, a gregarious hulk of a man, sat down for
a
late-night meal at the Olive Garden restaurant in Springfield on March 15, a
busy Saturday night.

Keith Allison - 6-foot-4, 320 pounds - ordered the chicken scampi. Karen
Allison ordered the same, but asked for some shrimp as an extra. "Keith told
the waiter to make sure no shrimp got on his plate. He said, 'I'm
allergic,'"
Karen Allison recalled. She said she repeated that her husband was allergic
to
shrimp.

Exactly what happened in the kitchen is unclear. But Karen Allison said that
halfway through the meal, her husband stood up and said he thought there had
been shrimp in his dish. He walked outside, where his tongue swelled and he
gasped for air, she said. An ambulance rushed him to Overlook Hospital in
Summit. There Allison, a 32-year-old truck driver from Elizabeth, was
pronounced dead. The autopsy has not been completed, but Karen Allison said
her husband died of a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
Springfield
First Aid Squad confirmed that a man was treated for anaphylaxis at the
restaurant that evening and taken to Overlook. The Union County Medical
Examiner is investigating the death.

Steve Coe, a spokesman for Olive Garden, said the company was awaiting a
report on the cause of Allison's death.

"Our managers went to the hospital with the family. We are obviously very
concerned about the family and have spoken to them," Coe said.

Advocates for people with food allergies say they have been pushing for
restaurants to take allergies seriously, but that few chefs and wait
staffers
are properly trained to understand the potential consequences. For people
with
food allergies, a single bite of the wrong food can prompt a severe immune
system reaction.

Allison, who was allergic to shellfish, had one of the more common
allergies.
Other allergens include peanuts, tree nuts, soy, dairy and wheat.

The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, a Virginia-based advocacy group, has
estimated that 30,000 people seek emergency treatment for food allergies
each
year, and that 150 to 200 of them die. A study in the Journal of Allergy and
Clinical Immunology in 2001 examined 32 food allergy deaths and found that
more than a third involved restaurant meals.

"Restaurant staff get no training in food allergies, and they do not know
their actions can be deadly," said Anne Munoz-Furlong, the founder of the
anaphylaxis network.

"We've been saying for years that the restaurant industry has to wake up to
food allergies. This problem is not going away," she said. Patrons often are
served food dangerous to them even after describing their allergies to the
wait staff, she said.

Munoz-Furlong related the case of a 28-year-old woman who returned a sundae
with nuts, explaining she was allergic to them.

"The restaurant wiped away the nuts and then added whipped cream so no one
could tell," said Munoz-Furlong. The woman died, she said.

"In many fatalities, the patrons did everything to make themselves safe, and
the restaurants did not keep them safe," she said.

She cited another example in which a young man allergic to peanuts asked
whether an egg roll had been fried in peanut oil. He was told it had not.
But
the staff did not tell the man that it contained peanut butter. The man ate
the egg roll and died.

Munoz-Furlong said some chains, such as Burger King and the Disney resorts,
work closely with the network to educate staff about food allergies. The
network advises people with allergies to talk to the manager, not just the
wait staff, and advises restaurants to designate a point person to shepherd
the meals of allergic people through the kitchen and to the table.

Scientists estimate that between 6 million and 7 million Americans have food
allergies.

Coe, the spokesman for the Olive Garden, a chain of 516 restaurants based in
Orlando, Fla., said the company "is well into the process of developing an
overall allergy policy for all our restaurants. We will have this rolled out
in the very near future. This is something we have been working on for a
while."

The National Restaurant Association, a trade group based in Washington,
D.C.,
said food allergy education is part of the association's food safety
training.
The group has certified 300,000 restaurant managers.

"We feel it's important to raise awareness of food allergies," said Steven
Grover, vice president of health and safety regulatory affairs for the
restaurant association. He said most restaurants try to accommodate
customers.

Some restaurants use special color-coded slips to mark the kitchen orders of
people who have food allergies. Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque 2000, a
Manhattan
restaurant, helped develop the restaurant association's allergy education
program.

"At our restaurant, we take allergies very seriously. Sometimes people will
not order from the menu and say, 'Just order for us.' We always ask if
anybody
is allergic," he said. Food orders from allergy-sufferers are written in red
ink, and the wait staff is advised to ask the chef about any unknown
ingredients.

A spokeswoman for T.G.I. Friday's, a chain of 800 restaurants worldwide,
said
the company makes sure all potentially dangerous ingredients in a dish, such
as sesame oil, are clearly stated on the menu.

Burger King Corp., with 8,000 restaurants in the United States, avoids
formulating any food that contains peanuts, tree nuts or shellfish, a
spokesman said.

So far, a handful of restaurants have been sued and have settled with
patrons,
according to personal injury lawyers. Several said they expect lawsuits over
food allergies to increase, and a cover story in the February issue of a
trade
magazine, Restaurant Business, asked: "Could food allergy suits turn into
the
industry's next legal nightmare?"

Jonathan Bridges, who wrote on the topic for Notre Dame Law Review, said
restaurants should expect lawsuits.

"There will be one big multimillion award that gets in the press and then,
yes, everybody else who has a problem knows to sue," he said.

Doctors advise patients with food allergies to carry an EpiPen, or a device
that delivers epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, to open the airways
during an allergic attack.

Karen Allison said her husband did not carry an EpiPen. His plan was to stay
away from shellfish, she said. She said he continually asked everyone - even
her mother - whether a dish contained shellfish. Keith Allison had an
11-year-old daughter.

His widow has consulted a lawyer, Daryl L. Zaslow of Chatham, but no lawsuit
has been filed. Olive Garden declined to comment.

Zaslow said he suspects the Olive Garden made both of the meals that evening
with shrimp and that somebody, realizing the mistake, removed the shrimp
from
Keith Allison's meal and added them to his wife's dish, leaving behind
shrimp
juice and proteins. He said Karen Allison's plate had more shrimp than the
typical add-on order.

Olive Garden declined to comment.

Carol Ann Campbell covers med icine. She may be reached at ccamp
[email]bell@starledger.com[/email], or (973) 392-4148.

CAPTION(S):

1. Karen Garry Allison talks about her husband Keith, 32, who died after
they
dined at an Olive Garden March 15.

1. MITSU YASUKAWA/THE STAR-LEDGER[/i]

------------------
Jana

[url="http://www.seattlefoodallergy.org"]www.seattlefoodallergy.org[/url]

__________________

Jana

[url="http//www.washingtonfoodallergy.org"]www.washingtonfoodallergy.org[/url]

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By cathlina on Fri, 01-13-06, 01:50

Right on about the lack of training.

I was hospitalized about 7 years ago. I am allergic to peas. The nutrionist marked on my food chart.

On day my food came up and there was a tuna noodle casserole with peas. I told the nurses I couldn't eat it because of the peas.

They called the kitchen, they took my dinner plate and it came back with same casserole with no peas. They had picked the peas out.

Duh...the protein from the peas was already cooked into the casserole.

If a hospital can't get it right...how can a restaurant.

Training is definitely needed.

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By McCobbre on Sat, 01-14-06, 17:43

Copied and pasted from my post in May 2005 thread about Olive Garden in Restaurant board:

"This is a little off topic, but I've got to respond to the story about the shellfish allergic man who died after eating at OG. Why in the world would his wife ever order shellfish in his presence? None of us would order a PBJ and eat it next to our PA children in a restaurant.
It's obviously not her fault that he died. I'm not saying that. But didn't it strike anyone as strange that she would order shellfish?

But the fact that they removed the prawns from his plate and put them on hers reminds me of a conscientious member of our church. At a youth dinner, where his son was serving us, I indicated that my PA DS' would need a salad without almonds. The father of the kid who was serving us then said, "And you need to bring him a new salad--not just one that has the almonds taken off. Those almonds could have traces of peanuts on them." The look on the kid's face told us that's exactly what he was planning on doing before his father told him otherwise.

I was so impressed by this guy's understanding of cross contamination issues"

I stand by this statement. When I wrote this in May 2005, I hadn't had my first shellfish reaction. I fully expect my DH not to order shellfish in my presence or out of my presence if he plans to kiss me later in the day. I have a responsibility to protect myself, and he has a responsibility, too. Just like we have a responsibility to protect DS, so we don't eat peanuts around him (well, I can't anyway) or eat them and then go kiss him.

But the truth is that this man could have died whether or not his wife ordered what she did. It was a matter of the restaurant placing shellfish on his plate and removing it. How deceptive. Deadly deceptive.

We often go to the managerial level when eating out. Last night at a pizzeria where they do use peanut oil for their fries (which we never get) but not for their pizza, DS pointed out to a friend with us, "There's the manager of the restaurant," and waved to him. I saw that as a wonderful sign. He knows who the manager is at several other restaurants in town, too.

__________________

My posts may not be published by anyone without getting express written consent by me.

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By TRexFamily on Mon, 01-16-06, 12:30

One of my friends is an ER nurse. Her DD is allergic to shrimp and had to be treated at the ER. My friend still cooks shrimp:O( BTW, her DD does not have an EpiPen.

My SIL is allergic to cashews and does not have an Epi. My FIL is anaphylactic to bees and does not have an Epi.

The absolute worst I have heard was on my DS' first day of K. A parent told the rest of us that their DD is allergic to peanuts, but they're "trying to wean her off the Epi, so don't worry about peanuts in the classroom." HUH??? I think my jaw hit the ground.

Anne

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By MommaBear on Mon, 01-16-06, 12:41

Quote:Originally posted by TRexFamily:
[b]One of my friends is an ER nurse. Her DD is allergic to shrimp and had to be treated at the ER. My friend still cooks shrimp:O( BTW, her DD does not have an EpiPen.

My SIL is allergic to cashews and does not have an Epi. My FIL is anaphylactic to bees and does not have an Epi.

The absolute worst I have heard was on my DS' first day of K. A parent told the rest of us that their DD is allergic to peanuts, but they're "trying to wean her off the Epi, so don't worry about peanuts in the classroom." HUH??? I think my jaw hit the ground.

Anne[/b]

just out of curiosity, what do these other people, I mean, besides the "nurse", do for a living?

__________________

"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

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By MommaBear on Mon, 01-16-06, 12:48

Quote:Originally posted by McCobbre:
[b]But the truth is that this man could have died whether or not his wife ordered what she did. It was a matter of the restaurant placing shellfish on his plate and removing it. How deceptive. Deadly deceptive. [/b]

completely understand. I mean, take away the "fluff", and get to the root problem.

Quote:[b]We often go to the managerial level when eating out. Last night at a pizzeria where they do use peanut oil for their fries (which we never get) but not for their pizza, DS pointed out to a friend with us, "There's the manager of the restaurant," and waved to him. I saw that as a wonderful sign. He knows who the manager is at several other restaurants in town, too.[/b]

completely understand. In another situation, I remember checking the ingredients on several labels and then seeing the person preparing that food for consumption by others eating peanut butter cups. One stuck through a single finger on each hand.............. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img]

There's more to it than just labels and ingredients.

General Disclaimer: I'm not offering advice in any manner or form.

__________________

"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."

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By TRexFamily on Mon, 01-16-06, 16:59

Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b] just out of curiosity, what do these other people, I mean, besides the "nurse", do for a living?

[/b]

1. My friend is an ER nurse, and her DH is a radiologist. Their DD is allergic to shrimp.

2. FIL (anaphylactic to bees) is a retired attorney.

3. SIL (allergic to cashews) is an attorney.

4. I'm not sure what the parents of DS's classmate do. They don't come to class parties, so I haven't really talked to them.

FIL thinks I'm totally overreacting, but DH takes my side. DH is a doctor, and he has told FIL and SIL they should get Epis, but they ignore him.

Anne

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By bethc on Mon, 01-16-06, 17:05

I think people often just don't get enough information from their doctors. Ours didn't prescribe an Epi-Pen or refer us for allergy testing when I told him that we'd discovered DD was allergic to peanuts. He gave us no advice about the extent of the foods we should avoid or how serious reactions can be. Just told us not to feed her peanut butter. I just heard from my SIL that her mother developed a shellfish allergy a few years ago, but her mother still occasionally eats things with a little crab in them, then drinks lots of water and takes an antacid and Benadryl. I believe she gets mouth tingling and digestive symptoms, but she hasn't ever had a respiratory reaction. I asked if she had an Epi-Pen and my SIL said no, she didn't think the doctor prescibed one. I tried to explain that shellfish allergies are often dangerous, but without the Dr. telling that to her, who's going to listen?

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By bethc on Mon, 01-16-06, 17:11

Oh, and my DH and his father are both allergic to bee stings and don't have Epis. When my DH told the Dr. (a different one than our DD's) about his facial swelling after a bee sting on the ankle, I believe he told him to take Benadryl. This was many years ago before we understood anaphylaxis. So he didn't give him an Epi and didn't give any advice on handling a reaction. My DH says his dad reacts severely to bee stings, so I asked my step-MIL if he has an Epi. She said, "Oh, no. His allergy isn't that bad."

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