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.
In 2012, Micheline Ducre's daughter died of anaphylaxis after kissing her boyfriend who had eaten peanuts earlier in the night. Myriam Ducre-Lemay's boyfriend was unaware of the allergy, and wasn't able to save his girlfriend once she had difficulty breathing.
Ducre is now speaking out to spread the word about risks like this, and the importance of teens in particular always carrying an EpiPen. In a CTV News article, Dr. Christine McCusker, head of paediatric allergy and immunology at Montreal Children's Hospital noted that those between 15 and 30 years of age are in a higher risk age range with severe allergies because they take more risks and are less likely to carry EpiPens. Most deaths from anaphylaxis happen when there's a delay (or complete lack of) in administering an EpiPen, and teens are often the unfortunate victims.
Because anaphylaxis can become life-threatening so quickly, immediate use of an EpiPen is required, so it's important that those affected by severe allergies talk about them, and inform the people they're with of the allergies and what to do in case of emergency.
Allergic Living has a ton of helpful information about kissing with severe allergies, and I encourage anyone dealing with this to read up, help their teens navigate these sometimes-awkward waters, and help protect those with life-threatening allergies.
Here are some links to Allergic Living articles you'll find helpful:
Kissing With Severe Food Allergies
Kissing and Allergic Teens
Dating with Food Allergies, A Tricky Business
Where were you last Tuesday at 2:35pm? Not sure? Well, your iPhone can tell you. Your android can, too, actually.
Your iPhone has been tracking your every move, and likely transmitting that date back to Apple and you probably had no idea. Androids share tracking info with Google directly. Companies claim to use this information to create "personalized service" (like ad targeting, how kind of them), but who knows what it's really used for? It could be shared with law inforcement, advertisers, and if your employer provides your phone, well, they can have access, too.
Every place you've visited, every minute you've spent there, it's all being stored and shared. Feels a little violating, doesn't it? Imagine that anyone with access to your android account can look at that information online, and anyone with access to your phone can see your every move? (I imagine there are many spouses wondering about the usefulness of that right about now. . .)
Go to Settings
Scroll down and select Privacy
Select Location Services, then System Services at the very bottom
Select Frequent Locations (and marvel at all the places you've been over the last month), then turn off