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Is it rude to ask really specific questions about a menu?

I was a restaurant recently and felt really embarrassed about asking question about the specific ingredients to cook their food. I was just really nervous because my friends mother has some really bad food allergies and I wanted to make sure she wouldn't be exposed. Was it rude? What is the etiquette for this type of thing?

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By GinaR on Tue, 07-16-13, 20:59

I don't think it's rude at all! Besides it's life-threatening for many people and I'm the restaurant doesn't want to cause harm to anyone if they can prevent it!

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By PeanutAllergy.com on Fri, 07-05-13, 18:35

Question of the Week: Answered!

Every week, PeanutAllergy.com will be answering one of the questions posted on the community page!

Our Answer:

It is absolutely not rude to ask a waiter or waitress about the ingredients used in the food a restaurant serves. It is their job to listen to and address any questions and concerns you have.

What so many people fail to understand is just how dangerous a food allergy can be. When you are looking out for someone and making sure he or she is not exposed to any allergens, you are being protective, not rude.

There is a difference between being rude and being direct. Of course, you should always treat the waiter or waitress with respect and consideration, but make sure that you are direct when addressing whoever is helping you. Be clear about your concerns. Tell the person who is helping you that you (or the person you are advocating for) has a life-threatening food allergy and that you need to make sure that they are not exposed to any allergens. If they fail to appropriately address your concerns, ask to speak with a manager.

Unfortunately, many people are simply not educated about how dangerous food allergies can be. This is why you need to be an advocate for yourself (or your child, friend, etc.) You are the best line of defense! Remember that safety is the most important thing, and you have every right to ask as many questions as you need to about the ingredients used in a restaurant's food.

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By GBTrainwreck on Wed, 07-03-13, 22:33

Thank you! Next time I will try not to be so embarrassed!

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By SherilynDDive on Wed, 07-03-13, 22:18

I don't think it's rude at all. Restaurant workers are really conscientious about this type of thing because they could possibly be liable. They are happy to share the list of ingredients, and if they seem disgruntled- then that's not your problem. The safety of your friend's mom is more important then worrying about rudeness.

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By GBTrainwreck on Wed, 07-03-13, 22:35

Oops! I meant to reply to you directly not myself! Thanks!

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