If your child has a life threatening allergy, as a parent it is your duty to make sure you’re extra vigilant. Whether it’s an allergy to peanuts, sesame seeds, or something else, you know all about taking all the necessary precautions.
But after you hear about what happened to a young girl at a Panera Bread in Natick, Massachusetts, you’ll think twice about ever ordering food from a restaurant again.
Apparently, John Russo was very careful when he made the order for his 5-year-old daughter, Elissa. He was used to this since Elissa had a severe allergy to peanuts. Russo made sure to mention her allergy in the online notes when he placed his order with Panera Bread.
But the employees there seemingly ignored his warning in the most shocking way…
Russo even ordered a grilled cheese sandwich which should never have contact with peanuts. But it made sure the nut allergy was clear – just in case.
When the Russos sat down to enjoy their sandwiches, they could tell something was wrong straight away. Elissa told her parents that her sandwich tasted “weird.” Then her throat closed up and she couldn’t breathe.
Elissa went into anaphylactic shock and started vomiting all over the Natick, MA restaurant.
Before his daughter fell to the ground convulsing, Russo pried apart her sandwich. His jaw dropped.
Right in the middle of her grilled cheese sandwich, an employee had placed a dollop of peanut butter.
“It just totally shook our world,” John Russo told WCVB News. “She thought she was going to die.”
Someone at the restaurant called 911 and Elissa was airlifted to the hospital. She spent a night under supervision while she recovered. But she was traumatized by the experience.
Apparently, Panera Bread said the mistake happened because the person preparing the food had a language issue. But to make things even more confusing, this problem happened to another family. Their child was fed a grilled cheese with a dollop of peanut butter in the middle.
Because they almost murdered a child, Panera Bread is investigating the incident.
But the Russo family says they demand more from Panera Bread. They want food service employees to be educated on the seriousness of allergies.
Because their daughter feared for her life and could have died, the Russos have retained a highly-priced lawyers and are suing Panera Bread.
People who read about this are appalled that Panera Bread is hiring people who can’t read English when lives are at stake.
“’Language issue’ at TWO locations of putting peanut butter on grilled cheese? Would LOVE to be on the jury for that lawsuit!” Terri Reger wrote.
“Yep. Hiring people that don’t speak at least intermediate English (enough for fluent like me to understand them) is a big no-no here,” Michael Chandler writes. “Checking if clear on lawsuit grounds–they clearly stated no peanuts or peanut butter because daughter can’t handle it, allergen reaction that sounded like it could kill her (not that familiar w/ allergens), and apparently management had hired someone that brought language difficulties. I would advise the parents just to check their daughter’s food personally next time. If they had opened the sandwich, they’d have averted this terror.”
“Someone needs to investigate that Panera and check if they are hiring illegals… sure sounds like they are!” Heather Hauenstein spouted.
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