Reddit restaurant workers beg you to stop lying about this serious issue

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Food allergies are serious. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, approximately 32 million people in the United States have food allergies. The most common allergens are milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. When people with real allergies consume an allergen, they can face serious health consequences.

A Boston Globe article on the growing tendency among diners to report a false allergy recounted what happens at a Boston-area restaurant when the word “allergy” appears with an order. Kitchen staff “must assume that the customer’s condition is life threatening.” To avoid potential cross-contamination, everything comes to a halt while cooks examine the ingredients for each dish on the order and replace cutting boards and utensils. Now imagine that a guest whose ‘severe dairy allergy’ forces you to take all those time-consuming steps decides to end their meal by ordering ice cream, telling their server it’s okay if they “Cheat a little”, “said chef Michael Léviton.

If you are allergic to peanuts, please let your server know. If you just don’t like peanuts, then avoid the false allergy claim next time and just have the waiter tell the kitchen that you would like your dish made without them.


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