Man suffers major allergic reaction – the fallout?

In case you missed it, in the small city of Sherbrooke, Quebec [about 2 hours east of Montreal] a 34-year old man named Simon-Pierre Canuel went into a dimly lit restaurant in May, sat down and ordered a beef tartare dish.

Just shortly after biting into his dish, it was not beef tartare but salmon tartare. His throat became itchy and began to tighten, his tongue swelled and he had problems breathing. His friend, a medical resident, went to the car to get his EpiPen. Another diner, a doctor, lied him on the floor and administrated mouth to mouth resuscitation while waiting for an ambulance to show up. He is allergic to seafood.

He was taken to a hospital nearby but suffered cardiac arrest the next day and fell into a coma for around two days before recovering and released.

Mr. Canuel has filed both civil and criminal charges against the waiter because it is alleged that the waiter did not write down the order and must have mixed up his order because of it. The waiter has been arrested. A civil lawsuit has been charged against the restaurant.

The Sherbrooke police had gone through a two-week investigation prior to the arrest including serving a warrant and searching the restaurant.

Mr. Canuel claims he mentioned about his serious allergies when he arrived at the restaurant and again when ordering the beef tartare and asked the waiter to make note of the allergy. It is alleged that the waiter did not make note of the allergy.

Mr. Canuel claimed the waiter seemed to be socializing with [probably] friends at another table, drinking shooters, instead of taking care of his order. The waiter may have even been a bit drunk.

One of the co-owners of the restaurant says she also has serious seafood allergies and said her restaurant would do what happened on purpose.

A discussion is starting now on what to do with people with allergies. While many precautions are done to prevent allergic reactions, there are obvious some places that have little choice because of what they serve.

For an example, a “surf and turf” restaurant will serve both seafood and beef. So allergic reactions could be a problem for someone who enters a restaurant even though they want beef.

The same would go for someone walking into a sports bar that generally have peanuts available.

Signs can be placed prior to walking into an establishment warning of possible allergic issues in addition as on the menu [which some do show].

Mr. Canuel claimed he notified the waiter at least three times but that didn’t seem to help too much in this case.

Maybe restaurants won’t take chances and just ban anyone with [food] allergies – but that is less likely.

Maybe waiters will be required to ask a customer if they have any allergies – but what if they forget an allergy?



About ebraiter
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