Allergy Mums / Support for families with allergies

publication date: Jul 28, 2014

Swiss Chalet

On our journey back from Niagara Falls we stopped off at Swiss Chalet for a bite to eat. We’d been in traffic for a while so perhaps weren’t the happiest of customers. We chose Swiss Chalet because the ribs are good and safe for us to eat. For reason known only to God Molly decided she wasn’t in the mood for ribs. So we explained to the waitress that our daughter was allergic to milk and checked that the kids mini chicken sandwiches were safe for her. Assured that they were, we ordered them for her (I stuck with ribs and Ju had the chicken pot pie). The ribs, as always, were great. Julian’s chicken pot pie was okay but not great – the pastry was flat and thin, and the insides a bit gloopy.  Molly didn’t like the chicken sandwich; declaring it dry and saying it tasted funny.  Usually she’s a good eater so I put this down to being tired.

On the way out Julian saw an ‘allergy’ guide and picked it up. Wish we’d seen it earlier; or even that our server had checked it when we said we were milk and egg allergic. The sandwiches Molly had apparently have milk in them. We were told that they don’t put butter on the bread so it must be in the chicken. Odd that the kids quarter chicken meal doesn’t have milk, so they must be doing something to some of the chicken breasts. I guess that’s why Molly refused to eat all but a few bites. It tasted funny.  But why? Why does some chicken have milk when other doesn’t? Did they inject it with butter as a tenderiser? Or was it the bun? Why didn’t the server check the allergy info or hand it to me to check? We’re lucky that Molly’s allergies don’t react to tiny amounts; she gets delayed reactions so I can grab the meds and get them into her before her stomach goes nuts. Others wouldn’t be so lucky. For others even small amounts can trigger a dangerous reaction.

My biggest complaint is allergens in things that appear safe. My youngest niece is lactose intolerant and has stopped eating at Swiss Chalet because she had such a bad reaction to a dinner she had there. I’ve looked at the allergy information and it appears that milk is in nearly all the salad dressings. So milk is balsamic dressing, Italian and even lime and kiwi dressings. Now I’m not surprised by milk in Caesar dressing but balsamic? Really?  You just wouldn’t think that was an issue and it’s just plain wrong that milk products as in something that should be oil, vinegar, sugar – maybe a bit of mustard.  This is my big complaint about the catering industry. We are forced to ask what appear to be absurd questions because products have been adulterated so much. Once type of plain chicken is okay, but not another. A dressing that is vinegar based has some milk in it.   Milk in the gravy? Milk in all the salad dressings, bar the fat free option? What’s even weirder is that the apple pie has no milk products. So what do they make the pastry with? Doubt they use vegan margarine so it must be oil of some sort. But it does have soy in it...Again if you were allergic to soy would you think of that? Of course not.

This all takes me back to an important question. Do we have any idea what the catering issue is doing with our food?

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