Well, if this doesn’t make you stand up and pay attention to food allergies, nothing will. A waiter in Quebec was arrested and could be charged with criminal negligence after serving salmon to a customer after the customer informed him of a severe seafood allergy. Because of dim lighting and the fact that the salmon was prepared with mayonnaise, (for real, that’s what the customer said…) the customer did not notice he wasn’t eating beef and began to eat the dangerous seafood. That’s when he went into anaphylactic shock, went into a coma, went into cardiac arrest and basically, had a really shitty dining experience. The customer did keep an EpiPen in his car which is the absolute wrong place to keep an EpiPen when you have a life threatening allergy. No word on what he left his server for a tip, but my guess is that it was less than 20%.
The customer, Simon-Pierre Canuel has made it out of the hospital but the first thing he did when he opened his eyes from the coma was to call his attorney and set this lawsuit in motion. “At the time of the order, the waiter took no notes and never went to the kitchen to talk with staff,” said police officer Martin Carrier. Canuel claims that the waiter did not inform the cooks and was chatting, laughing and drinking alcohol with other guests. If that ends up being proven, I’m thinking this waiter might need to update his resume right quick because a new job is on the horizon.
It is unlikely that the waiter will get a prison sentence which is probably why the customer is already considering civil action. (Make that money!) “I’m still afraid at times that I’ll fall asleep and never wake up. I have anxiety attacks… heart palpitations, sweating attacks, etc.” said Canuel. These are all good things to mention to the press when laying down the groundwork for some real financial payback. The restaurant, Le Tapageur, has refused to comment until they speak with their lawyers, which is code for, “We know we fucked up.”
Normally, I would side with the server in almost any situation, but this one is a bit different. The server was careless and made a huge mistake that almost killed a man. This isn’t like bringing someone a regular Coke when they ordered a Diet. This man almost died. And worse, his picture ended up on the Internet while he is unconscious and all coma’d out. Totally embarrassing.
What can we learn from this, people?
- If a customer tells you they have a severe allergy, take that shit seriously. Even when they say they are allergic to lettuce or gluten, we are obligated to take their word for it.
- If you have a severe allergy, keep your fucking EpiPen in your pocket and not in the car. After all, do you want to put your life in the hands of a 22-year old kid who is getting paid less than minimum wage?
- Salmon prepared with mayonnaise miraculously tastes exactly like beef.
- Servers in Canada apparently get to drink alcohol with other guests.