Allergic Reaction To My Chocolate Cake!!! Help...

Decorating By nefgaby Updated 26 Mar 2007 , 6:54pm by Antylucifer

nefgaby Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 2:02am
post #1 of 61

Hi everybody, please... I need your help once again!
I made a Darn Good Chocolate Cake from the Cake Doctor and I was called today by the customer asking me if I used any ingredients that might trigger an allergic reaction, they claim that 2 of the guests (Birthday Party) ended up with a rash all over. She (the customer) couldn't tell me what her guests were allergic to so it has been really hard for me to figure it out. I've never had a problem with any of my cakes, and I never use any oils that might be peanut or contain nuts. I never use latex gloves. I made my chocolate buttercream using cocoa powder, confectioner's sugar, Hershey's chocolate syrup and butter. Covered my cake with MMF... I really can't figure this one out, icon_confused.gif any suggestions??
Also, I don't know if this makes a difference or not, but I only use brand name ingredients, never store brands (like great value or similar).
So I'm thinking... maybe too much chocolate?? But they asked for it, the birthday boy is a chocolate lover.... Any ideas?
Thanks so much!!!

60 replies
birdgirl Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 2:07am
post #2 of 61

Did she share with you that there might be issues with allergies to anything? Cake mixes have allergy warnings on the boxes for various things. Maybe there was something in the house that they were allergic to-pets, dust, perfumes. Possibly did she serve punch with the cake? Food coloring can trigger reactions. It is hard to tell. She can't blame you totally if she served other things with it--I wouldn't let it get to you!

Pucka1378 Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 2:07am
post #3 of 61

No ideas on what they could be allergic to. But, I would think that these people that had a reaction would know what they are allergic to and to stay away from stuff that could contain what they are allergic to.

Pucka1378 Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 2:08am
post #4 of 61

Also want to add really the blame does not fall on you unless she specifically(sp?) asked about your ingredients etc beforehand.

BakingGirl Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 2:09am
post #5 of 61

That to me sounds like someone is trying to point a finger to you as convenient target. It is more likely to be some sort of viral infection which just happened to show up after the party where the cake was eaten. I would give call the host and give her the list of ingredients, but add that if she knew guest had allergies that she should have notified you so that you could make sure that you would avoid using those particular ingredients.

Tug Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 2:09am
post #6 of 61

I can understand her asking you, and you being concerned. However, I'm sure your cake was not the only food item at the party.

Was there a bounce house that wasn't cleaned properly, etc? Other things should be considered aside from pointing the finger at your cake. My opinion anyway.

nefgaby Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 2:15am
post #7 of 61

Thanks everybody for your help... I have NO pets (neither do they) and YES, other things were served at the party. She did not ask beforehand about any ingredients neither did mention "allergies" to me. I will send her a detailed list of all my ingredients used and I already went through my list and there is nothing I can think of that might have caused the allergies. For food coloring I used Wilton no taste red and red red, that was it (it was a Valentine's Cake) and the rest of the fondant was left white.
Can anybody tell me more about allergies and food colors?
Thanks again everybody, I really appreciate your help!!!!

Doug Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 2:15am
post #8 of 61

was there swimming at the party???

poison ivy nearby??? (i used to break out head to toe just from being downwind of it!)

rash ALL over....yes some things can cause this....

but this sounds more like some kind of skin contact thing...

wendysue Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 2:16am
post #9 of 61

I wonder if her guests had anything in addition to the cake at the party?? Anything could have caused the rash. It could be that's it not even food related, but something in her home that they're reacting too. Something she cleaned with for example, something in the air, something on her furniture, really the possibilities are endless.

Do the two people who broke out share a common food allergy? If not I'd say it would be very hard to blame it on your cake. If they do share an allergy and the ingredient were in your cake, I'd still say it's not your fault. You can't leave out every ingredient that someone might be allergic to out of a cake. If she'd asked you to ommit something and you failed to do so, that would be a different story.

Hope she lets this go. Has she actually accused you, or just asked for more details about the cakes ingredients?

Good luck to you... keep us posted.


jmt1714 Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 2:21am
post #10 of 61

honestly, I wouldn't send her anything. you haven't done anything wrong, and there is no point in opening yourself up to anything.

nefgaby Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 2:26am
post #11 of 61

Nope, no swimming at the party... it was for a 17 year old boy and the reason she is claiming it was my cake is because she gave this 2 people cake to take home (among many others) and both kids (boy and a girl) ended up with a rash both days they had my cake, day of the party and the day they ate the left over cake... she claims she only gave them cake to take home, nothing else.
To tell you the truth she has been really nice about it, but she wants me to go to detail with all my ingredients used. Her son (birthday boy) LOVED my cake and wants her to order a second cake from me, same flavor, for a second party he will be having this coming Sat.
Anyway... will keep you posted on how this ends. Thanks again!

Teekakes Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 2:29am
post #12 of 61

With two reactions I would seriously doubt it is anything they ate. I am thinking the kids were playing outside and got into something other than food. Or playing indoors and got into something.................How often have you been anywhere that two people had an allergic reaction to the food at the very same time? I can't think of that ever happening in my near 50 years.

butterflyjuju Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 2:38am
post #13 of 61

My dd is allergic to red dye so the red would trigger a rash on her face where the icing came in contact. But it's something we know and control. As long as she washes her face quickly after eating it, it's okay. But if two people had something, I'd wonder if something else was going on unless they were directly related and both allergic to the same stuff.

nefgaby Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 2:42am
post #14 of 61
Originally Posted by butterflyjuju

My dd is allergic to red dye so the red would trigger a rash on her face where the icing came in contact. But it's something we know and control. As long as she washes her face quickly after eating it, it's okay. But if two people had something, I'd wonder if something else was going on unless they were directly related and both allergic to the same stuff.

I´ve never heard of this... interesting!! Now just a question, what happens when your DD eats BC or Fondant with the red dye? Or she just CAN´T have it at all?? Both kids are NOT related.
Thanks butterflyjuju! thumbs_up.gif

eriksmom Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 2:46am
post #15 of 61

You know, its very possible, being that at least one teenage girl was at the party, that she should also consider asking them if any of them were wearing a new fragrance. I have had a rash reaction to certain lotions and fragrances. could be these two happen to be sensitive to the same thing.

be sure to ask her to pass on your list of ingredients to the two affected, and she can ask them if they are aware of any allergies they may have.

i really don't think it was your cake. treat the customer with concern and kindness, and you won't lose any face, and you'll gain her trust and repeat business. accidents happen, don't feel guilty.

I'll bet next time she'll consider food allergies when hosting parties!

biviana Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 2:48am
post #16 of 61

With two reactions I also would seriously doubt it is anything they ate. If they are teenagers for sure they already know if they are allergic to some foods or not. It may be something else.
Eggs is a big allergy, but usually gone by age of 6.
Keep us posted

nefgaby Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 3:03am
post #17 of 61

Thanks again eveybody, you all sure made me feel much much better!! Will keep you posted on what she tells me tomorrow or Tuesday... Thanks again!

ksimp6577 Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 3:10am
post #18 of 61

My son has a severe cocoa allergy -- will break out in horrendous hives head to toe, has been hospitalized with a reaction, etc. He's only two and already knows he can't eat chocolate because it "gives bumpies", so I really think that if these children had a food allergy they would know it. I'm with everyone else in that it must have been a contact reaction or something viral. Good luck!!

indydebi Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 3:13am
post #19 of 61

To be fair, it could be an allergy that no one was aware of. Allergies do "come and go". When my daughter was about 6, she developed an allergy to chocolate. Threw up every time she ate it. She actually outgrew it by the time she was 7. It was short lived. At the time, I didn't know kids could outgrow allergies, nor did I know they can just one day show up and then a year or so later just disappear.

Could be anything. icon_confused.gif

BlakesCakes Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 3:14am
post #20 of 61

At the risk of sounding mean and uncaring--and to some I'm sure that I will--I think you're being very thoughtful to have even gone to the trouble of going through your ingredients list with this woman. For me, that would be the end of my involvement. Allergic reactions are not a Health Department issue--they are generally person specific issues.

Unless these kids have a known allergy to chocolate, eggs, wheat/flour, or food dyes, it would be highly unusual for them to have magically developed it having eaten your cake. This isn't something that just appears out of thin air. Have you seen the highly colored, additve laden garbage that kids call candy these days???? No way they haven't had previous exposures to every ingredient in that cake!

That said, you shouldn't lose one moment's sleep over this. You have zero control over the people who choose to eat your cake. You didn't do anything that merits any further consideration. There are myriad things to consider in this instance--perhaps the plate, aluminum foil, or saran wrap was the issue.

If the parents of these children are really concerned, they should do the footwork here--NOT YOU. They take the kids and a piece of the cake (and ideally the plate, foil, or saran) to an allergist. The kids are given allergy tests for various ingredients starting with the most likely to produce a reaction. The parents are given a list of positives and told to make sure the child avoids the item. If it's an unavoidable--usually environmental--they usually get a price prescription for meds and/or an Epi Pen for more severe reactions.

I guess all I can say is please don't worry about this.


Doug Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 3:21am
post #21 of 61

to add to the weird allergy...and to remind you it's NOT your fault.

as a kid....deathly allergic to poison ivy.

w/ help of desensitization shots...out grew it.


in my early 40's (oops shouldn't have told you that!) i developed an allergy to CASHEWS after inhaling them all my life w/ impunity.

turns out cashews and poison ivy are part of the same plant family.

so cashews....boy does that cut down on the granola and Chinese food options! oh....and get this even have to avoid traditional Chinese furniture finished in traditional techniques --> they use cashew oil to make the finish!

MaisieBake Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 3:34am
post #22 of 61

With two reactions I would seriously doubt it is anything they ate. I am thinking the kids were playing outside and got into something other than food.

For a rash all over they'd have had to be naked when they "got into" something.

Whether the problem was your cake or not, who knows. If no one's asking for money, just information, I think if it were me I'd be just a bit worried given two separate sets of problems.

ValMommytoDanny Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 3:40am
post #23 of 61

People think I am nuts because I always ask if there are food allergies and on my stickers for cookies I put the nut/milk product disclaimer...even when sending them to my son't school I throw one of there. Catering jobs - people pick out their own selections - are ones that I always ask this question as well. You would be amazed how people just do not know and they have to find out. I also ask about vegeterian considerations too. It's just because that is how I was taught to do it. In my regular job I have 55 staff members and I know all of theirs because if we have a food event, I try to accomodate all of the dietary concerns... they laugh at me - but as I said, it's how I was taught to handle it. (I just gave up that I am a nut icon_smile.gif)

But regarding your situation......

In all reality when a person requests a cake or any food stuff from a vendor they usually ask or stay away from products that they know will cause an issue - if they don't then that was their failure not yours. I do not think you should take on the liability of this issue. It may be the family changed their fabric softner or a fragrance from their Aunt Milly or something like that...

I would not take this on as your responsibility - if you feel inclined (I would probably..) offer her an ingredient list and leave it at that. You made them what they asked for - if the lady is just trying to gain info for the parents to help isolate what caused it, that wouldn't be bad ~ but I repeat this is not your issue. There are a Gad-zillion variable that could be the cause.

Invision going into McDonalds, ordering a McNugget and then informing them you are allergic to Chicken - they would say tough tookies... you got what you asked for...

icon_smile.gif Hugs, icon_smile.gif

TRisser Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 4:02am
post #24 of 61

on a side note, I had a rash once, went to the doctor and asked if it could be a food allergy. He said that only very rarely do food allergies cause rashes and that is normally a contact kind of thing. (i.e. they rubbed the cake all over their bodies LOL)

Just thought I'd add that in.

JamesSweetie Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 4:04am
post #25 of 61

Just to clear up, were these children siblings or from separate families? Did anyone else have any sort of reaction? Was the rash disappearing and then after the second helping of cake it came back worse on both children? Had they experienced this with anything else before? Were the children taken to the doctor? (I'm sorry as you may not have been given any of this information icon_redface.gif , but if she is saying the cake caused it then I would want to know the children were taken to a physician who could shine some light on what caused it.) I

t could be a chocolate allergy, or allergy to the red dye, although that would be odd that both children would be experiencing it at same time. A rash all over could also be fifth disease which is contagious and common virus in children (children will have a "slapped cheek" look and covered in a pink lacy rash). A virus is a more plausible cause then allergic reaction at the same time experienced in the same way.

butterflyjuju Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 4:50am
post #26 of 61
Originally Posted by nefgaby

I´ve never heard of this... interesting!! Now just a question, what happens when your DD eats BC or Fondant with the red dye? Or she just CAN´T have it at all?? Both kids are NOT related.
Thanks butterflyjuju! thumbs_up.gif

If my DD eats BC or Fondant with red dye, as long as we wash her face quickly the rash won't be bad. If ithe dye stays on for a while it gets pretty bad, but we put Castor oil on it and the rash goes away. We have to watch her with Ketchup, BBQ sauce, BBQ chips, and Nacho cheese chips such as Doritoes. She's only 2 and already tries to pay attention to what will break her out. And she'll try to wash it off her own face quickly.

tcturtleshell Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 5:05am
post #27 of 61

Hmm teenagers?? Does mono cause rashes?? You never know?! icon_smile.gif Girl, don't worry about this! I agree with the ones who said it should be the parents problem to figure this out not you. If you feel you should then give her the ingredients list. But I don't think it's necessary either. It could be anything & I do think it has nothing to do with your cake~ icon_smile.gif

CarolAnn Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 5:31am
post #28 of 61

So with all this fuss going on the customer's son is wanting his mom to order another of your cakes? I doubt it was your cake. Kids that age ought to know what they can't have if they have allergies. My ganddaughter can't get tomato based sauces on her face or she'll break out. If it's washed off quickly she's okay. I wouldn't worry about trying to pin down the cause myself. And if the woman suspects your cake why would she consider ordering another cake from you? I don't mean for you to miss any business but seems strange to me.

susanmm23 Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 6:07am
post #29 of 61

LOL TINA i was totally thinking the same thing. boy girl teenagers come on i can think of a few things they could have done to get a rash all over them.

Eme Posted 19 Feb 2007 , 6:45am
post #30 of 61

Coming from a family with severe food and environmental allergies, I can shed a little light on allergic reactions. It is extremely rare for a food allergy to cause a rash. Usually food allergies will cause hives, headaches, itchy watery eyes and/or nose, sleepiness, digestive upset, low grade fever, intestinal cramping, mood change, swelling of the mouth or esophagus, swelling of the hands or feet, flushing of the face, hands or feet, a cold achy-ness in the hands or feet, peeling of the skin in the mouth, ......... I think you get the idea. Generally, food allergies will affect the internal environment first and foremost and it is very uncommon for them to affect the outside. That said, it is uncommon, but not impossible --But....2 kids with the same rash?? I have to agree with the others that this sounds more like a contact dermatitis, or environmental exposure. The kids should be seen by a doctor, but even that will not prove anything, as the doctor will probably not be able to give a 'for sure' answer.

If it will ease your mind, by all means give her a list of ingredients used, but do not accept blame. A stranger's allergies are not your problem!!

Hope this helps to ease your concerns...... thumbs_up.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%