A Challenging Visit to the Grocery Store Today

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2001 - 4:35am
Heather's picture
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Joined: 10/08/2006 - 09:00

pI've just come back from doing my weekly grocery shopping at Bread and Circus. I've always said how allergy-aware they are and it's just been a place where I feel comfortable shopping. In the past I've always gone to the store in Bedford (Massachusetts) and I almost always had the same butcher who is the nicest lady you would ever meet. She and I discussed my son's allergy on several occasions and she assured me that they don't use any peanut/tree nut oil or products in the butcher shop at all so I've bought their meats and even their marionated meats. Now I have to shop in the Newtonville Store because it's closer to my company's new location. Today I ordered meat, the guy packaged it up and I was ready to order something else when I noticed a Tai Peanut Chicken Marionade. I asked the butcher about and he said everything in the meat case has the potential of being contaminated with that marionade. My heart sank. He called the store manager over for me who was very nice. He thanked me for brining the peanut marionade to his attention and he is going to look into perhaps discontinuing that marionade. In the meantime, he got me a couple of fresh cuts of meat that he personally cut himself. I have to say they handled the situation well. Nevertheless, I feel like I'm challenged with this allergy every day and I have to always be on my toes and looking around and paying attention. It really becomes a drag because I worry about a time that I may not be on my toes and something slips by me. /p
p[This message has been edited by Heather (edited January 26, 2001).]/p

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2001 - 1:54pm
CVB in CA's picture
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Joined: 10/15/1999 - 09:00

Have you seen the thai peanut chicken sausages? I have discontinued any of the locally made chicken and turkey sausages out here since they added the flavor...

Posted on: Fri, 02/02/2001 - 5:33am
Heather's picture
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Joined: 10/08/2006 - 09:00

Just came back from that same grocery store (a week later) and am very dissapointed to say, they have not removed the Thai Peanut Dish from the meat case. Not only that, but they have added peanuts to the salad bar. I just sent an e-mail to the store manager.
[This message has been edited by Heather (edited February 02, 2001).]

Posted on: Fri, 02/02/2001 - 6:21am
mamagaona's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2000 - 09:00

I just can't believe they can be so insensitive! Can that Thai peanut dish be such a big seller as to put PA people in danger. That kind of ignorance just burns me
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
Arlene

Posted on: Fri, 02/02/2001 - 6:41am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Heather, I'm so sorry to hear about what's happened. I think this is another example of how yes, we have to constantly be "on our toes", how prevalent and important peanut products are in our society and how a necessary activity carried out by every family is not an easy one for PA sufferers.
We can't even grocery shop without added stresses!
I find it difficult enough going to the one grocery store we have in town with my 5 and 3 year old with me. Then you have to check the labels of everything. Sometimes you actually do forget and you know it's a product you've always bought so you SHOULD be okay. You immediately check when you get the product home knowing that you didn't check it in the store. Fortunately, you're lucky and the manufacturer did not change anything.
When I went to Wal-Mart near Christmas, I was in their food aisles looking for different things. Now, it's very unusual for me to get somewhere like Wal-Mart and some place that big. At any rate, I could hardly walk an inch without coming across something that contained peanuts or had the "may contain" warning. It is simply so disheartening.
I often wonder how we're going to impart all of this information onto our PA children so that they know to check and check and check.
Perhaps simply shopping with us all along, they'll just do it reflex-like. I'm not sure. But it does frighten me.
And actually, thank-you for posting this for all of us because I've never even thought to look behind the deli counter at my one food store in town. Who knows if they have a marinade back there or not?
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Fri, 02/16/2001 - 5:06am
Heather's picture
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Joined: 10/08/2006 - 09:00

I'm having a really bad day. I went to the Bread and Circus, the Bedford one, the same one that I've been saying is so allergy aware and the butcher has said on several occasions there aren't any tree nuts or peanuts. Well, today I discovered a poultry stuffed with feta cheese and pine nuts. I asked the butcher about it. OK, so maybe I interrupted this other lady's order but I was very concerned about cross contamination. The lady turned to me said "I'm not finished with my order" I said "that's ok, I'll wait." Then I thought I'd try to explain myself to this woman, I said "it's just that my son has a severe allergy to nuts and I'm concerned" she said "I know all about severe allergies, my daughter has one" I breathed a sigh of relief and said "oh good, than you understand why I'm so concerned" she said "get out of my way!" I was stunned! I said sarcastically "well, I can see you're the sensitive type" and she leaned over and whispered in my ear "go to hell". I just waited patiently and when she walked away I yelled back at her "good luck with your severely allergic child" and I heard her say "oh shut up" under her breath. Well, she started it. Anyway, back to the butcher, she said "don't worry, no chance of cross contamination with other meats, you'll be fine" I said ok and bought other meats. Now that I've had a chance to think about it. I wonder exactly HOW do they assure no risk of cross contamination? I've sent an e-mail off to the store manager. I'll let you guys know what he says. I'm just having one of those yucky "I want this allergy to go away" days. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 02/16/2001 - 5:36am
mom2two's picture
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Joined: 06/09/2000 - 09:00

Heather,
You seem to consistentalyh have had a lot of problems with this store's butcher department, I would suggest patronizing another butcher/store. I don't know how they could "guarantee" no cross contamination. In reality, it would seem impossible for me to believe anyone can make that kind of guarantee. I would imagine there is none but it really depends on your comfort level. Seems like that woman was just being rude, don't let her own your day.

Posted on: Fri, 02/16/2001 - 5:44am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

The woman said WHAT? I can't believe it! I am SO shocked simply by the words that came out of her mouth. Perhaps I shock easily, I don't know. Heather, I'm so sorry you had another bad experience grocery shopping.
I had one a couple of weeks ago, but it wasn't bad to do with the store, just about how I was feeling that day, so I posted it under How Did PA Affect Your Day To-Day. I really think this thread should be the Grocery Store Thread. I'm serious. It would bring all concerns into one thread.
I was okay shopping to-day because I didn't have the kids and I only had a couple of items to pick up. The worst time I have ever had in the store, and it had nothing to do with PA, and never even amounted to what you experienced to-day was: Ember is always going to the bulk bun bins and grabbing a cheese garlic bread stick. Well, the things are huge and they're 50 cents or something.
Anyway, the thing is, she doesn't require it and if she gets one then her brother will want one and it's something I'm not comfortable with anymore.
Well, everyone in this small town knows me when I go into IGA with my two kids, especially if they have those bloody mini carts out. I have my two kids running around like crazy children with the two carts (last time they were in a race down the aisles) and I'm reading labels and trying to order at the deli counter and whatever and double checking the list and counting the money and everything.
Well, Ember touched one of the breadsticks in the bin. I was at the deli counter about 3 feet away from her. I said, No, Em, you can't have that. Well, one of the deli ladies who has always been nasty when I'm in there (actually the whole store deserves to turn nasty en masse when they see me coming!), said, No, you'll have to buy that, she touched it. You should be watching her better. I just looked at her and said, You know, you are the nastiest person that works here. Do you know how much nerve it got me to even say that?
And do you know what I did with the breadstick? I was supposed to purchase it, but I left it, in front of the deli counter.
So, I'm sure the woman, if she put any thought into it, knew exactly where it had come from. I know that I am responsible for watching my children when they are in the store. I have had another deli lady come and take one of those mini carts away from Jesse when she asked him to stop ramming it into things and he wouldn't. She did it very nicely.
I just wish at times like this, I could have some really large sticker on me that said, no, I'm not just dealing with these two small children who are quite active in this store, I also have to read every bloody label on every single item in the store before it can go in my grocery cart! I feel people would have better understanding of why I am the way I am in the store. Seriously.
But, wow, to say the things the woman did to you? It's just another case of where you think another parent whose child has a food allergy or is PA may understand and they just don't react the same way we would or we would like them to. If we all can't get along, how do we expect non-food-allergic parents to understand?
Anyway, DH has to use the phone and I have babbled long enough. I'm really sorry, Heather, you must be frightened to shop! I would be after what that woman said! LOL!
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Fri, 02/16/2001 - 7:54am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Incredible! Have I missed something? Is there a full moon, or what?!?!? This week has been chock full of people speaking their minds about our kids!!!
I have only had one person in a store in my life say anything to me like that. I inadvertently cut in front of someone in an aisle, said "Sorry" and the guy turned to me and said "No you're not." I said back to him "Yes, I am. If I wasn't sorry, I wouldn't have bothered to say it!" Anyway, it seems the world in general is getting more vocal, and definitely more "me" oriented. That's particularly difficult when we, people who have food allergies in our lives, have to count on the kindness of others (sometimes/at least to a small extent) for our loved ones' safety.
Sorry to hear you (both) have had such nasty experiences. I hope you have a better day tomorrow!!! Tammy

Posted on: Fri, 02/16/2001 - 8:14am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Heather and Cindy, I am so sorry to hear of both of your bad experiences today!
Heather, it sounds to me like that woman may have been mentally ill. Either that, or she is just a horribly mean person! I am so sorry you had to run into her.
Cindy, I am glad you spoke up to that mean woman at the deli counter. I always think it's awful when stores have open bins of things within childrens' reach. It is so hard to watch "energetic" children and shop at the same time. I remember when Leah was Ember's age, I used to wish a magic fairy would come along and watch Leah for me at the store. It was so difficult, and I only had the one child at that time.
You both have my deepest sympathy and hugs!
Miriam

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