Olive Garden

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We recently went to dinner at our local Olive Garden and asked the waiter to check the breadstick ingredients for our PA daughter. He came back and told us that the manager said he could not reveal any ingredients in anything. The waiter was very apologetic and my husband asked for the manager. The manager told us that if we wanted to know any ingredients that our daughter's doctor would have to send a written request to their corporate headquarters. We could not believe it. Everyone in our party got up and left. Has anyone else had similar experiences?

On May 24, 2001

Hi JulieD,

Sorry that you had such a terrible experience! I work in the food industry and I can not comprehend when managers and restaurant owners do not help their customers especially when it comes down to food allergies. Like you are there to steal the secret ingredient of their bread sticks! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]

Anyway, I have eaten at Olive Garden several times. In my opinion, it's not the best food, however, some of my co-workers like to eat there, so I go. I have never had a reaction from their bread sticks, salad dressings, or any of the dishes that I have tried. At the location that we go to, I ask the waiter every time we go (never know when they are going to change recipes) and I have not had a problem yet. Several waiters have even brought me the ingredient listing for the salad dressing. No peanut oil.

So if you ever decide to try them again, maybe go to a different location. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Good Luck, Melanie

On May 24, 2001

We called corporate headquarters and they were fairly helpful. then when we first went to Olive Garden we spoke to the manager who went into the kitchen and spoke to the cook. They brought out things for me to read ingredients and wrote down ingredients from large containers in the kitchen. We do eat there, however, they have alot of desserts which may contain nuts. My child eats the same things every time, either spagetti w/tomato sauce, or cheese pizza. She also eats the breadsticks and the alfredo dipping sauce. I just stick to those because I feel safe with them. I don't dare to stray from what I know. Also NEVER dessert there.

On May 25, 2001

We eat at the Olive Garden frequently. We've been to several different locations, here in Framingham, MA as well as in Florida. We tend to frequent the same restaurants no matter where we are. Every time we go, I do check with the ingredients. We often have the manager come out and talk to us and go over everthing my daughter could possibly eat. She has eaten the spaghetti with sauce, the salad and the breadsticks and also has eaten the kids chicken and fries with no problem. She has also had their chocolate milkshakes. They don't use peanut oils (only olive oil) and they even brought me the packaging for the chicken so I could see what it is breaded in. We usually go there for a birthday dinner and they supply a small choc. cake. They brought me the box with the ingredients listed and they were OK with me. I don't allow her to eat any dessert there either.

I always check every time I go there to make sure nothing has changed. I think the wait staff you encountered was just ill informed and was saving their butt!

On May 27, 2001

I emailed Olive Garden on their website and told them that I have a support group for parents and their peanut/nut allergic kids and need to know what foods contain peanuts/nut. They emailed me back saying they would not recommend eating there at all. They said they can't guarantee the manufacturers' product labels are correct for the ingredients they use in the food. I take my kids there quite a bit and have never had a problem.

On May 27, 2001

I guess I don't blame manufacturers and restaurants just writing us off by saying they cannot guarantee eating their products are safe, so don't eat our product! They don't want a lawsuit on their hands if anything happens to a person while consuming their product. But as a parent of a PA child, or a PA adult, isn't this response frustrating?? As the previous post said, they have eaten at the Olive Garden without a problem, but after being told not to, what do you do??? Will you go back?

[This message has been edited by ConcernedMom (edited May 27, 2001).]