Those with food allergies know to always, always read the labels. Always ask, even at regular restaurants, if ingredients have changed. Always read the allergen list. We double- and triple-check for allergens. This is why when Lisa Macpherson ate the same seafood salad she's eaten countless times before at a Milestone's restaurant she didn't expect to discover peanuts in the new dressing. Posted on Facebook, Macpherson reached out to friends to see what her course of action could be. It's lucky she didn't suffer a severe reaction — the results for others could be deadly.
We've eaten at Milestone's many times, trusting their allergen list as our guide. But it seems that the guide has not been updated since the "new" menu changes. Macpherson had the grilled seafood salad, which does not list peanuts as an ingredient.
Here's a screenshot of Macpherson's status update:
Speaking to Lisa, she said, "The servers have my best interest at heart; they're not in the business of killing people. But when they don't know that there is peanut butter in a salad dressing where there was none before, they can't inform people. Knowledge is power. Milestone's needs to give us the information to help us protect ourselves. There is no information anywhere stating the menu changes."
Macpherson stresses that she's lucky her reactions are not more severe, and worries greatly about children eating there, and which other menu items are now unsafe. To ensure she wasn't mistaken, she went to a second location to inquire with a server about the seafood salad, and was once again told they did not think there were any nuts in it. She asked the second server to inquire with kitchen staff, who then "also confirmed peanut butter had been added to the honey-lime dressing".
If front-line staff is left unaware, customers are unsafe. Macpherson stated she's always been comfortable before in Milestone's because "staff undergo serious allergy training" so she's unsure how they dropped the ball this time. She is currently going to reach out to Milestone's head office to let the know the severity of the issue, but asked that I help spread the word so nobody else makes the same mistake.
I tweeted Milestone's to see if they'd been alerted to the issue, but haven't heard back from them. I felt that given the potential severity of reactions, this is worth spreading news about before something far worse happens.
Each and every time we eat out or purchase packaged goods, we MUST read the labels and ask again for full ingredient lists. Even then, it's a risk we take not cooking from scratch, especially with staff uneducated about menus.
This is why life with deadly food allergies is so, so stressful.