Toddler told to 'eat at home' after allergic reaction at restaurant
When Jack Chapman and his family sat down for dinner at a local restaurant they didn't realise the meal would end with a five hour visit to hospital.
Two-year-old Jack, from Taylor, in Michigan, US is allergic to eggs, wheat, coconut and milk.
The toddler's mother Kelly said - as always when dining out - she advised the waitress at Flamingo Family Restaurant of her son's allergies. She was assured the food she ordered was safe for him to eat.
"They said everything is fine, hot dogs (without the bun) are safe, French fries are safe - they're just potatoes and basically vegetable oil, what they cook it in," Chapman told Fox2 News.
"He started to eat it and barely ate any of it. By the end of the meal we were getting ready to get up and pay the bill, and he just started vomiting."
"Within literally five minutes of us being home he went from that little bit of raspiness to drooling a lot. His nose was running a lot, he was itching his face a lot, his eyes were starting to swell and get puffy."
Chapman said that despite assurances from restaurant staff, the hot dog Jack ate contained non-fat dry milk.
The ingredient triggered an anaphylactic reaction and Jack's mum believes it could have been deadly if they did not have an EpiPen available to give Jack a shot.
After having the shot, Jack spent five hours in the hospital recovering from the reaction.
But Chapman said her family's experience was made even worse when they left a negative comment on the restaurant's Facebook page.
Someone responding on behalf of the restaurant wrote: "If you know you have problems, then why don't you just eat at home, where you know exactly what the ingredients are - instead of trying to go to a restaurant (and all restaurants) in the first place. What happened here could happen at any restaurant - thank you very much for your review!"
The comment has since been taken down and restaurant management claim it was not written by a staff member, but Chapman said she was made to feel like a "nuisance".
The restaurant's owner later claimed the family did not inform the waitress about Jack's allergies before ordering the food.
"I'm insulted she would say I didn't ask because we know we asked. We ask every time we go somewhere," Chapman said.
"What I would love to see happen is more education for the staff, maybe a list of ingredients they could just bring out to the customers if it's asked for."
The owner told Fox 2 that in 13 years of operation there had been no other allergic reactions and staff were always happy to accommodate the needs of all diners.