Close Call! - Peanut Allergy Information

Close Call!

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Went to a restaurant with my family last night. We've been there many times and have never had a problem. THis time, though, my father noticed that the dish my PA child was eating had peanuts!!! I asked the waitress and she told me that she made a mistake and dropped a few in. But my child, who is higly allergic, wasn't having a reaction. I gave her benedryl anyway and was getting up to leave. the manager came to our table and explained to us that the chef started to use peanuts in the dish now. He also said that he's never heard of anyone having peanut allergies, let alone a life threatening one! I was so angry at them but mostly at myself for not asking!!! I was being lax. I was being too comfortable. I didn't bother mention my child's allergy to them because we are there all the time/ It turned out in the end that they weren't peanuts but soynuts. My kid (6 y/o) was very upset and disturbed by the whole thing. It was all my fault for not asking! I broke the first and most important rule. I feel so terrible...THis allergy thing really sucks.

On Dec 11, 2006

Considering your child did not react this is a wonderful opportunity for you to do some role playing with your child as to what you could have said.

Everyone makes mistakes. I gave my son his first big reaction. It happens, we move on and learn.


On Dec 11, 2006

we had a close call recently too. we found a new restaurant that seemed just too good to be true. the food was great and after the meal they offered our children free ice cream treats and insisted they were entirely peanut-free. i checked out the ingredients (actually walked to the back and inspected them myself) they were using and they agreed to use a brand new, unopened box of vanilla ice cream which was labeled correctly and a clean, unused scoop. the toppings included safe chocolate sauce, whipped cream and hershey kissables, heath bar and one other safe candy that i cannot recall all in separate, large, glass jars. i inspected the toppings closely but not close enough. the girls had ice cream with choc sauce, kissables and whipped cream. they were in heaven.

on our next trip to the same restaurant we took the entire 5th grade cheer squad with us and all their parents because my girls were still raving about how good it was and how fun it was to have been able to enjoy the "safe" dessert.

upon closer inspection, the jar full of crushed heath bar (which the waitress and owner both swore was heath bar) turned out to be crushed butterfinger. there were bits of butterfinger everywhere. thankfully, my girls had not been interested in trying heath bar topping on the previous visit!

i feel so fortunate that my girls did not have some sort of contact or ingestion reaction upon our first visit there. i was livid with the owner and waitress for putting me on the spot and insisting things were safe for my girls. more than that, i was angry at myself for not trusting my gut which told me, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

to top the whole thing off, one of the parents in our group, upon seeing my reaction to finding out my girls had previously eaten food that could easily have contained butterfinger said this to me...."oh, lighten up. they were fine. it's not like they BROKE OUT or anything."

so...that's how some people i would consider close to us still feel about my girls' PA and potential for anaphylaxis. they think our biggest problem would be "breaking out" in some sort of rash.

i filled her in on the fact that the "break out" would have been followed by the very real possibility of respiratory failure and loss of blood pressure among several other lovely scenarios. i've seen anaphylaxis firsthand several times and it's nothing like a "break out."

i think the bottom line is that we have to live in the world but we always have to trust our instincts and remind ourselves to enjoy life but still always, always check things out. just because something was safe once doesn't mean it will be again. you and i learned that. i count myself as very lucky. and reminded.

On Dec 12, 2006

joeybeth -

Is your child allergic to almonds? Heath bars contain almonds.

Scaredtodeath -

So sorry you went through that. Thankfully, everything was OK - and you learned something. "You learn something new everyday..." With PA, that's a good thing. [img][/img]

On Dec 14, 2006

no allergy to almonds (just peanuts for my two girls, though my husband is allergic to peanuts, walnuts and pecans...). however, i do not allow the girls foods containing treenuts in order to avoid cross contamination. i did not realize heath bar had nuts or a nut warning??? my girls just don't happen to like heath (not really even sure they've ever tried it).

is heath a "may contain" for peanuts??

what's the other toffee bar like heath? maybe it was that one i was told was in the jar that actually contained butterfinger. either way it was butterfinger rather than something much less of a risk like a "may contain" of some sort.

but no, my girls are not tna but we do tend to treat them as they are. just makes things easier, in terms of safety, imo.

[This message has been edited by joeybeth (edited December 14, 2006).]

On Dec 16, 2006

joeybeth -

I just raised a thread (Kit Kat bites) under Manufacturers for you. It mentions Heath bars, and, interestingly, there's a post in there from you! [img][/img]

On Dec 16, 2006

i'll have to check that out. haha!! hope i didn't totally contradict myself - but it's certainly possible. [img][/img] i have a terrible memory lately.

On Dec 16, 2006

i was relieved not to read that heath bar is a "may contain" for peanuts. [img][/img] as far as the almond goes, i didn't really remember that but it may or may not have prevented me from giving them to my two PA children. there are one or two "may contain almond" things i have allowed in the past (depending on the situation). they are not tna but we do basically function as a tna family i'd say 98% of the time, or more. (probably more like 99.9% of the time, really).

my big surprise at the restaurant i mentioned above is that they encouraged me to allow my girls to have butterfinger topping on their ice cream and i almost gave in. it was bad enough that i allowed them to have the ice cream in the first place (with all the opportunity for cross contamination of ingredients or utensils or surfaces) but can you imagine if i'd let them EAT the butterfinger????

i'm still mad about the whole thing. mad at the restaurant owner and staff and mad at myself. it sure woke me up.

so far, never had a problem with almond or may contain almond but that's not to say it couldn't happen. i've shared this before: my bil works for a nut company and peanuts are commonly called "dirty nuts" there due to the potential for peanut dust to be everywhere. it's certainly possible (and probably likely) for almonds and other nuts to have been processed in a facility that also processed peanuts.

as i type this it's making me wonder why i have allowed the may contain almonds in the's one of those weird things that even i cannot explain. probably one of those things i should rethink given that i just posted about chick-fil-a and how i try not to send my girls mixed messages.

i guess it's one of those things where i try to give them the most "normal" as i can by allowing things i consider to be extremely low risk, on occasion. this PA business is tricky and really a pain in the you-know-what. [img][/img]