Saturday, January 26, 2008

Burger King blunder

I've been horribly absent from my blog because I've got a huge confession to make.

I screwed up at Burger King.

This happened in December, just before Christmas. I had taken the day off work to take Andrew to his preschool's Christmas party. All of the preschool classes for the organization were invited, so there were about 100 kids in the room, so I was totally on guard for the entire experience.

They had Charlotte Diamond perform, and then there was a party with Christmas cookies and juice in the other room. I was prepared for that, too, and had Andrew's safe organic Oreos with me, and a boxed juice too, just to protect him from the shared juice pitchers and cups. (Okay, maybe that was a little too paranoid, but I was feeling a little shaky by that point.)

After that, I went with a few other moms from his preschool to Burger King, because it was on our way home, and because this one has a cool set of climbing tubes and slides, about two storeys high. The kids loved it, and had a blast screaming up, down and all over the equipment.

I'd looked over the Burger King menu earlier that month, and I knew that he could have two things off their menu: something with chicken, and the fries. So I ordered for us, and told the cashier that he has a dairy allergy, and that he wanted the chicken and fries. She rang up the crown nuggets and fries kids meal for us, and that's what he had for lunch.

He then went to his best friend's house for a playdate, and complained at the time of itchy eyes, something that we thought was because of their cat.

It wasn't.

Later that night, I checked the Burger King menu, and found out that I'd totally messed up. The crown chicken nuggets contain buttermilk. It's the chicken fries that are safe for him.

I called up that franchise and left a message for them about the allergic reaction, despite the fact that I had told the cashier that there was a dairy allergy. I have not heard back from them.

I haven't contacted the main Burger King office because they don't have an email address on their website. Yes, in this day and age, there is a major company that refuses to accept email correspondence. Unbelievable, isn't it?

Andrew woke up around 10 that night, scratching at himself all over. Since I finally knew what was going on (his cat reaction is usually just sneezing and runny nose, not full-body itches), I gave him a dose of Benadryl, and he was mostly fine by the next morning.

Of course, I wasn't. Despite having been on my guard all morning, I'd let it down at lunch, and my child paid for my mistake. I kicked myself all through Christmas.

What I've learned from this experience:
  • Andrew's still got a dairy allergy, though it's not nearly as bad as it used to be (previous reactions included hives and vomiting)
  • I should never let my guard down, even if I think I know what's safe. And never, EVER, trust a 16-year-old cashier at a fast food restaurant.
  • Andrew loves hanging out with his best friend, and will endure any amount of itching to be with him!
What I hope happens:
  • Burger King trains its staff to hand out ingredients lists the minute a customer mentions any kind of allergy.
Now that I've finally written this post to confess my sins, I'm going to print it out and mail it to Burger King's head office. Updates later, if anything ever comes of it.