When you work in a restaurant and someone asks you if your “yogurt shakes, made with ‘ fruit and yogurt'” contain milk, you’d better know the answer. Many people are allergic to milk, but not to yogurt, so there’s a reason they are asking. Reader Jim sends us a letter he wrote to Steak ‘N Shake that has gone unanswered:
On a recent visit to your North Canton Belden store, I noticed you had new yogurt shakes, made with ” fruit and yogurt” Being lactose intolerant ( and as all lactose intolerant people know) frozen yogurt and yogurt is a good alternative to ice cream as it does not contain the harmful lactose present in milk. I made the comment to the waitress that I was allergic to milk and was glad to see the new product. When she brought my shake, I again asked if she was sure it had no milk in it, and she thought a minute, and said it had “this much” milk used to thin the yogurt mix. She indicated almost half the size of the container. If I wouldn’t have asked, I would have been in the hospital by evening. It happened to me before when I had ordered a yogurt shake at a Dairy Queen, and they ran out of yogurt and made it with milk without telling me. I ended up in the emergency room.
You need to realize that people DO have food allergies. Yogurt advertised as yogurt is safe for people who are lactose intolerant. It is common for people with milk allergies to order yogurt as a safe alternative. You need to either change the way you advertise the shake and make people aware of the milk content, or make it with 100% yogurt as you advertise.
Also, the waitress was mad when I told her to take it back, and was reluctant to talked it off the bill. Than manager was way too busy even to speak with me. I waited 10 minutes to finally pay the bill and left. I will be more than happy to forward you a copy of the sales ticket for that day. The service in general was bad that day, and I highly doubt that we will ever go back.
Jim also points us to a recent CNN article about food allergies. The article concentrates on a new study of allergy deaths:
“We were surprised that so few people had gotten correct information about ingredients in restaurant settings, which accounted for about half of these fatal reactions,” said study author Anne Mu
oz-Furlong, founder and CEO of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, a nonprofit advocacy and education group. “The individuals either did not ask about ingredient information — and assumed the food was safe — or the restaurant staff gave them incorrect or incomplete information.”
Steak ‘N Shake does have accurate allergy information available on its website. Perhaps they should share the importance of this info with their employees. That way Jim can continue reading the Consumerist and avoid spending his free time in the ER. —MEGHANN MARCO