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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:27 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:20 pm
Posts: 150
Location: Barrie Ontario Canada
I have been avoiding the union meetings so far since it always includes a catered dinner and I haven't wanted to deal with trying to talk to the caterer. But, today I found out there is a meeting to inform us of our new "contract" and I think it is important for me to go. I just got off the phone with the caterer and I am not impressed. I asked her questions about what she would serve (she didn't know yet), where she makes the food (in her own kitchen at home), and if she has ever cooked for someone with food allergies (yes, but not allergies). At first she seemed to be willing to accommodate me but as I continued to explain that I could not eat anything containing nuts or anything labeled as "may contain" she became less and less willing to try. She said that if my allergies are that severe I should not be eating something she has cooked. While I appreciate her being honest about not being comfortable I am frustrated because I am now going to have to either a) bring my own food, b) eat before I go and sit and watch everyone else eat, or c) not attend at all.
Has anyone had experiences with caterers? Did I ask/say the wrong things? I tried to use Sloane Miller's ideas when explaining my allergies but I feel like it backfired.

O why does food always have to be involved :(

Outgrew: Wheat, corn, egg, chicken, to name a few
Sensitive to Milk/Dairy products
Allergic to: Tree nuts, percocet, toradol, environmental allergies and chemical allergies
Migraines caused by scented products, barometric pressure

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:28 am 

Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
We have had mixed results with caterers.

One was fabulous and created a special meal which apparently was more appetizing than the standard meal.

Another caterer's staff literally wasn't willing to provide water without lemon (owner was mad when he overheard that). For that meal we just asked what was being served and made a similar meal, put it in the fridge at the event and then reheated it when everyone else was being served. It really wasn't a big deal and my daughter felt better knowing she didn't have to worry about a reaction.

Some people get allergies, some don't. If they don't it's not worth risking it.

There is no need for you to miss the event. If I was in that situation you described I would just bring a meal since it is more awkward to sit there without a meal and no need to miss it.

me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:52 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6616
Location: Ottawa
I have had better luck with "fine dining" restaurants than with caterers but I did speak to a caterer last year who was very allergy aware and I would have no doubt that he could have managed peanut/tree nut allergy.

I know it sucks and I think it's great to come here and vent.

Do go to the meeting. It's important and you can bring some safe food. Follow up with your union and make them aware that this caterer was not able to accomodate your allergies. This should be something they are considering when booking for events.

I mean, really, peanut and tree nut allergies are the most widely recognised and labelled for allergens! Was this caterer even trying? :roll:

Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy and green beans) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: Oral Allergy Syndrome, Allergic to Birch trees

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:31 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:26 pm
Posts: 538
We've had mixed results as well. Now, unless the caterer was one of the two super fabulous ones we've had in the past (both at big name hotels), I just bring my own food. Nobody seems to have an issue with that and I find I always enjoy the event better without the anxiety that comes from other people preparing my food and wondering if it will be safe or not.

anaphylaxis to tree nuts, peanuts, potato, wheat, sorghum; asthmatic, dairy intolerant, vegan
other family members allergic to to dairy, egg, peanut, peach, sesame, environmentals

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