A young lady recently visited a branch of O’Briens in Dublin as she had seen they advertised a Vegan menu. She asked for and was served the Vegan option but it included some cheese and onion crisps which she rightly identified as containing dairy. The coffee she was served also contained cows milk so, as a Vegan, she was obviously upset at the mistake!

The lady in question has since written to O’Briens complaining about her treatment and the fact that the staff clearly didn’t understand Veganism.

However, it then transpired that she  had suffered cramps etc on her way home to England as she is actually Dairy intolerant.

Now, when talking to the staff in O’Briens which was more important? Her Veganism (a lifestyle choice) or the fact that she is Dairy Intolerant (a medical condition.)

Coping with Coeliac Disease, Allergies and Intolerances is still a problem when eating outside the home and I suspect O’Brien’s staff would have been more careful had they known she was Dairy intolerant.

When we talk to catering staff and catering students we tell them that it’s not their job to spot the Coeliac or a customer with an Allergy!

It’s up to the customer to make their condition known to the staff and then the onus passes to the staff to ensure the customer is looked after properly and safely.

So, when next ordering food in a café or restaurant etc and you are Coeliac don’t just ask for a “Gluten Free” meal.

Tell the staff you are Coeliac to help reinforce the fact that you will be ill if they get it wrong!

And here’s another situation to be aware of –  read this article from Australia sent to us by one of our Followers on Facebook:


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