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Thread: "If you or any member of your party has an allergy, please inform your server."

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    "If you or any member of your party has an allergy, please inform your server."

    [Not sure what sub forum to put this. Please feel free to move if necessary.]

    Have other people started to see these signs in restaurants popping up too, even fast food ones like Dunkin Donuts, with a similar wording? I have seen several but as far as I can tell it is just a sign and doesn't really reflect any change in their policies or information.

    Anyone have a news link, FDA memo, etc that explains the details? On a lark I asked at a few places if this meant they had an ingredients disclosure list they could share with me, and as expected, they looked at me like I was from Mars, nor would they have any advanced knowledge beyond "Donuts are made from flour, sugar, and I think maybe some other things".

    When I pressed them for an explanation as to the meaning of the sign they responded, "That's so people with allergies don't like get sick and stuff." I guess also knowing the actual ingredients of the food they sell being important for that concept to work eluded them.

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    Plant-Based Person Lentil's Avatar
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    I've noticed this statement on restaurant menus for several years, although I can't say I've noticed it at fast food places. I haven't heard of any sort of federal mandate.

    Many restaurants are not going to share an ingredients list, but if you do have an allergy, you will probably be able to talk to the cook/chef to see if a peanut (or whatever allergen)-free meal is possible. Chances are many of the ingredients they use are safe, but the preparation could introduce cross contamination. So, if they know you have an allergy, it might be as simple as preparing your meal in a separate, clean area.

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    Android typo queen vegankitty's Avatar
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    I've seen a lot of those signs lately too, though I haven't been to any fast food places in a long time. I think restaurants are supposed to disclose ingredients, aren't they?Not exact amounts, but what is in the food? I mean, if you have allergies they have to know what is in the items so they know if it's safe or not.

    Starbucks has always let me look at the ingredients on their stuff when I've asked.

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    Android typo queen vegankitty's Avatar
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    It looks like restaurants have to tell you if an allergen is present- the major eight at least/milk, eggs, soy, wheat , fish, peanuts, shellfish and tree nuts- if you ask.

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    Plant-Based Person Lentil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vegankitty View Post
    I've seen a lot of those signs lately too, though I haven't been to any fast food places in a long time. I think restaurants are supposed to disclose ingredients, aren't they?Not exact amounts, but what is in the food? I mean, if you have allergies they have to know what is in the items so they know if it's safe or not.
    No, they don't have to disclose their ingredients. The Olive Garden, for example, will not reveal any of their ingredients. They won't even say that any of their food is vegetarian, let alone vegan...! I know it's not the best restaurant anyway, but I used to like going there.

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    OG may have an allergen list, though, I'd think. Most people are sympathetic to their needs, at least.

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    Android typo queen vegankitty's Avatar
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    Yeah, they have to disclose allergens, at least the big eight. Nothing to do with sympathy- lawsuits.

    Olive Garden has disclosed some of their ingredients I believe. This site says so at least- last updat is almost three years old though. http://www.veganeatingout.com/olive-garden

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    "Depending on your personal philosophy, we can suggest the following items as meatless, but not necessarily vegetarian or vegan :... Minestrone soup..." - Letter from Olive Graden

    Source

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    Android typo queen vegankitty's Avatar
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    The letter cited in my source disagrees. Too bad there isn't a date on the second one. I know chains change-Pizza Hut changed their sauce recipe -wrll, one of them.

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    I didn't see the letter in your link until I clicked further. Yes, we seem to have conflicting info.

    ---

    I did however, just now, take a gander at their site and for people who are worried about their Minestrone soup containing protein from meat*, looks like the Minestrone soup is a go. For vegans and vegetarians however...

    "Which menu selections are vegetarian?

    A few of our menu items can be adjusted to accommodate a vegan or vegetarian diet, but none wholly meet the criteria. Depending on your personal philosophy, we can suggest the following items as meatless, but not necessarily vegetarian or vegan:

    Minestrone soup (vegetable and mushroom base; no meat protein)" [emphasis mine]

    Link

    *Like there's a set of people who will gladly eat animal fat however they abstain from animal protein. Yeah right. What are they thinking?
    Last edited by Mahk; 03-17-2011 at 02:39 AM.

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    Plant-Based Person Lentil's Avatar
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    Why I can't understand is why they can't say it's vegetarian? I think that's the more clear distinction. For vegan, ok, I can kind of see - they might be concerned that there's some potentially bone char sugar in there or something. But why not vegetarian? Is there some chicken broth in there? I read somewhere that they do use butter in their marinara base, but I haven't confirmed that.

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    Anti-anti-vacccine Dandelion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lentil View Post
    Why I can't understand is why they can't say it's vegetarian? I think that's the more clear distinction. For vegan, ok, I can kind of see - they might be concerned that there's some potentially bone char sugar in there or something. But why not vegetarian? Is there some chicken broth in there? I read somewhere that they do use butter in their marinara base, but I haven't confirmed that.
    Prolly because there's no standard definition on what vegan or vegetarian means. Ovo-veg, lacto-veg, ovo-lacto-veg, pesco-veg etc etc... I hardly blame them for avoiding that mess altogether. I think PFChangs has a similar stance. Once you get v-people in there inquiring about sugar sources that adds a burden probably not worth the market.
    It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

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    Plant-Based Person Lentil's Avatar
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    Hmm. Well now I'm confused. Do I attempt to eat at Olive Garden or not? I like the capellini pomodoro. I guess I could give my local OG a call, or ask before we sit down (and go across the street to Noodles if the answer isn't good). I don't want to go there and get stuck eating a salad.

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    Lentil, I agree with what what Dandelion said and also had some other things to add. Vegetarian and vegan can mean different things to different people.

    Italian restaurants, dont boil up a new batch of boiling water for each pasta order. That would be a huge waste of water , time, and electricity. Instead, they have one main cauldron bubbling all day and as orders come in they then immerse the noodles of that order in the already boiling pot to cook them. But what if the previous order was egg noodles? Does that mean all subsequent noodles are egg contaminated? What if a previous order had meat filled ravioli? Does that mean no subsequent orders are vegetarian?

    I'm not passing judgment or saying "how it should be" but I do think it may be a serious concern to some but a trivial matter to others. It is not really their place to make that call and I respect that (if indeed it is that).

    Some Italian restaurants routinely add a dollop of butter to that boiling water to prevent noodles from sticking, too.

    Many vegetarians blissfully eat cheese without question but when it is pointed out that the "enzymes", and also the rennet are not microbial sourced but rather animal sourced they are shocked. "But ,but, but I thought all cheese was vegetarian!"

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    Anti-anti-vacccine Dandelion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lentil View Post
    Hmm. Well now I'm confused. Do I attempt to eat at Olive Garden or not? I like the capellini pomodoro. I guess I could give my local OG a call, or ask before we sit down (and go across the street to Noodles if the answer isn't good). I don't want to go there and get stuck eating a salad.
    If it's a dish I enjoy and I found out it was cooked alongside this or has a smidgen of that I'd eat it. I'm not gonna let that stress me out. I'm not vegan anymore so it doesn't matter, whee! :lunabar:
    It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

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