Mother Forgot To Tell Me About Nut Allergy! Long

Decorating By AlamoSweets Updated 18 Aug 2008 , 1:57am by tchrmom

AlamoSweets Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 1:20am
post #1 of 25

A Mother ordered a birthday cake for her 8 year old daughter and on her way to pick it up she called and said, "I told you about my daughter having a nut allergy didn't I?". Of course she had not and I made the WASC and I also put almond flavoring in my buttercream. That was at 12:00 and the party was at 5:00. I told her that I would try to get a small on done for her without any almond flavoring in time. I told her it would be a 6 inch. She said she would pay me and please make it an 8 inch. I was able to get one out covered with the same fondant (thank goodness I had some left over) and cut out flowers. I called her back at 2:30 to pick both up and she said she couldn't because she was across town. She said her husand could pick them up in his Hummer. I suggested that the Hummer might be too rough to transport the cakes in and I ended up telling her I would drive across town to deliver them. When I was about to leave she paid me only for the large cake and gave me a 5% tip. I left without addressing the problem of not paying the second cake and delivery because we were in the middle of everyone and felt that we had worked so well together and she was so thankful that I had come through for her that I could invoice her without a problem. BOY WAS I WRONG! When she received the invoice she demanded a full refund because the cake wasn't what she ordered!?!?! She wanted buttercream frosting but the image of the example cake was covered with fondant and I told her that and that there would be a base of BC under the fondant and a filling of BC between the layers. She was excited about the design and confirmed the order. She kept calling the second cake a replacement cake when it wasn't a replacement but a second one that she had requested. Of course I didn't refund her anything and told her I would cancel the second invoice and chalk it up as a lesson learned that when someone says they will pay for something that doesn't mean they actually will. I also told her that I wouldn't let her discourage me from continuing to help a customer when a problem arises so that their daughter could have a birthday cake that she could eat. I also told her that I rely on the Mother's to tell me if there is such a deadly allery (as she called it) to nuts to insure there wouldn't be any in the cake. Thank goodness I presented her with a thorough list of ingredients and had her sign off on them to release me of any responsibility should her daughter have a reaction. I did this in case she ate anything else and tried to blame the cake for the reaction. Sorry this is so long but beware and ask if there is any allergies! I surely will in the future!

24 replies
antonia74 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 1:29am
post #2 of 25

You'd think a mother would have stressed such an important allergy first on the phone! icon_surprised.gif That's her carelessness, not yours. It's not as if waiters come to the table and inquire about any allergies you might have neglected to mention and THEN take your order. That's the customer's responsibility to ask or to mention them beforehand!

Good thinking to get her to sign off of the ingredients list. Cover your @ss, smart girl. thumbs_up.gif

SugaredUp Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 1:29am
post #3 of 25

That sux! Some people...

keyshia Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 1:34am
post #4 of 25

Oh that totally sucks that she gave you a hard time! As a mom with a child with nut allergies, I don't even order him anything...if I can't see the packaging or make it myself, he doesn't get it...that's just for my own peace of mind...

Just a little side note...I recently learned that Almond extract doesn't actually have almonds in it? I didn't know it until the lady at the cake store I went to said that she has people come in all the time and ask about things and that is what she was told. Sure enough, I went home and looked on the bottle and it mentions NOTHING about almonds (at least the Mccormick's)...the vanilla and lemon both say that they ahve vanilla and lemon? Go figure...though I'm still a wuss...I only use imitation. icon_biggrin.gif

antonia74 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 1:39am
post #5 of 25

Speaking of that Keyshia, a customer who happened to be a nurse AND had a nut allergy told me one time that almonds aren't actually nuts...they are "seeds", so when people tell you they have nut allergies you don't have to worry about almond oil/extract/marzipan, etc anyway.

Is that true?? icon_confused.gif Perhaps you know some more info?

lisa78332 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 1:45am
post #6 of 25

i think that rather than go on a hunch, you should ask a doctor about it, instead of a nurse. I'd rather be safe than sorry. It can be deadly, and I would hate to be responsible for anything happening.

cakeconfections Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 1:46am
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by antonia74

Speaking of that Keyshia, a customer who happened to be a nurse AND had a nut allergy told me one time that almonds aren't actually nuts...they are "seeds", so when people tell you they have nut allergies you don't have to worry about almond oil/extract/marzipan, etc anyway.

Is that true?? icon_confused.gif Perhaps you know some more info?




I am not a nurse or anything like that but I did just do a search on almonds and nut allergies. An almond is infact a tree nut and can cause a reactions. The sites also warned against such things as almond paste.

lisa78332 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 1:49am
post #8 of 25

I found this website, and it specifies which products to avoid if you have a nut allergy. It DOES include, almonds, almond extract and maripan.
http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/nut-allergy

keyshia Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 2:04am
post #9 of 25

I agree that speaking to a doctor would be the best thing. I know that previously, my son was only allergic specifically to Walnuts, Pecans (both tree nuts) and Peanuts (in their own classification because technically they are legumes). We were told to avoid all nuts, which we did...when I took my son for repeat testing, he is now specifically allergic to 9 different nuts (including Almonds and Coconut...which technically is a fruit, but is in the nut panel). Like I said, after learning of my own child's allergies, I decided not to allow him to eat food prepared by others...as well meaning as some can be, they may not be well versed on cross contamination and some people have different levels of what will make them react...my thinking is that it's better safe than sorry.

Although...when I did specifically ask the allergist about almond extract, they couldn't tell me dunce.gif Like I said, I'd rather be safe than sorry!

OH and it's possible for some people to only be allergic to peanuts and not tree nuts...soooo...that opens a whole other ballpark. icon_biggrin.gif

pinkbiz Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 2:05am
post #10 of 25

it was not your fault that she did not metion that IMPORTANT fact...so im glad you didn't refund

twooten173 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 2:07am
post #11 of 25

You did the right thing. I wouldn't worry about it. The universe has a way of settling things like this!

matwogirls Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 2:08am
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by antonia74

Speaking of that Keyshia, a customer who happened to be a nurse AND had a nut allergy told me one time that almonds aren't actually nuts...they are "seeds", so when people tell you they have nut allergies you don't have to worry about almond oil/extract/marzipan, etc anyway.

Is that true?? icon_confused.gif Perhaps you know some more info?




My husband is allergic to nuts. Specifically tree nuts. This is all but peanuts. Tree nuts include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts (filberts), macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts (pignolias), pistachio nuts and walnuts.

As a mother of a child with allergies I also would not order from someone if I did not read all the ingredients labels that the person was using, or if I did not know for sure that they understood how easy it is to cross contaminate.

So this is NOT your fault. And shame on that mom.

Janice

DebBTX Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 2:53am
post #13 of 25

You were so smart to have that mom sign off on the ingredients.

I hate that happened to you. She really should have been thankful for you going the extra mile to provide her daughter with something safe to eat. She should have paid you.

-Debbie B.

antonia74 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 3:43am
post #14 of 25

Thanks for all the info everyone!

(I'm really glad I didn't believe her then. I thought that even IF almonds weren't risky, they were probably processed in a plant with other forms of nuts at the very least. Now I see she may have been mistaken anyway. icon_sad.gif )

ceshell Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 3:59am
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by antonia74

(I'm really glad I didn't believe her then. I thought that even IF almonds weren't risky, they were probably processed in a plant with other forms of nuts at the very least. Now I see she may have been mistaken anyway. icon_sad.gif )




Well I suppose she was right in calling a nut a "seed" because it IS a seed! But that doesn't make it "not a nut."

Humph, did that make any sense?? icon_confused.gif

cookieaddict Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 4:19am
post #16 of 25

I can understand your frustration. My daughter is allergic to all nuts and to those which are not classified as nuts too like Coconut and sesame seeds. Funny that she is not allergic to pecans but highly allergic to walnuts with a class 3 reaction.
Out of experience I found out that Almond extract contains almond oils in it. But almond flavoring is just an artifical flavor and doesn't contain any actual almond oils in it. This is my experience, but each person might react differently. Best to avoid it completely.

It is totally the mother's fault if she forgot to inform you the most crucial detail. Specially if it for her own child's party. It is the worst thing in my opinion to do as a mom.

Kudos to you. You were very accomodating.

SueW Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 2:42am
post #17 of 25

I was told that if you are allergic to nuts the PURE almond extract is a NO- NO but the artificial almont extract is OK. Not sure but I don't use either with daughter just in case (she is allergic to peanuts).

babybundt Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 3:08am
post #18 of 25

although the mom should have told you about the allergy it may be wise to ask the customer if there are any nut allergies. some people are so allergic that even if you did not use nuts in the recipe or nut extract a cake baked in a kitchen that uses nuts can be toxic to someone. a spoon or mixer that came in contact with nuts and was not sanitized properly then is used to make the nut free product can have a trace of nut s or oil on it. some people with the nut allergy must have there food prepared in totally nut free environments. i am so sorry that this customer stiffed you. you do have a great attitude though. just remember what goes around-comes around.............

beth2027 Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 3:19am
post #19 of 25

I am paranoid (probably because I'm a diabetic and have to know everything that goes into my mouth) about giving children anything of the big "ticket" allergens, such as nuts & strawberries when I teach Sunday school.
I taught school and worked in day cares, so I know how important it is to know about allergies.
I would automatically tell someone if my child had an allergy like that, but, in the mother's defense, I didn't know that there were things like nut extracts that were in cakes until I started baking.
I had one child in a day care that was allergic to so many different things that we carried epi pens with us and her mother packed her lunch, snacks, and drinks every day. That would be so scary.

zoomitoons Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 3:49am
post #20 of 25

I think you handled this very well and I'm sorry you had to take a loss.
My mom is a nurse and also used to decorate cakes. I used her contract for ideas when I was writing mine. At the top on the first page is the word ALLERGY and a box, if they are allergic to anything that gets a HUGE check mark. There is an area on the contract that gets filled in with what the allergies are.

lardbutt Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 5:04pm
post #21 of 25

Since the customer called the second cake a "replacement", that's all she should have received! I know she said she would pay for it though. Then again, that should be discussed before time for payment. Shame on her for taking advantage of you like that!

I agree with everyone else, an allergy should have been the FIRST thing discussed!

You were very professional not to cause a stink at the party. Sorry this happened to you, but thanks for sharing so we can all learn from it.

ctucker Posted 16 Aug 2008 , 1:56am
post #22 of 25

I am very willing to bet that it wasnt even her daughter but an invited guest. A mother would tell you if their own child (whom you were making a cake for) had a deadly nut allergy.

I think the customer likely got a call from a concerned mom who's child was going to the party to inform her about their childs alergy and your customer wanted to "fix it" by lying to you.

Just MHO.

cjmommy Posted 16 Aug 2008 , 1:15pm
post #23 of 25

AlamoSweets - I think that you were very professional and that mother was very lucky you were so kind to her.

My daughter has a severe food allergy (not to nuts, but pineapple) and the first thing out of my mouth to anyone in general is that she has this allergy. It's your responsibility as a parent to protect your child. It's unthinkable to me that this mother would not have mentioned it to you when you were preparing food for her child.

Do not worry and again, you handled this situation very professionally.

AlamoSweets Posted 16 Aug 2008 , 2:20pm
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctucker

I am very willing to bet that it wasnt even her daughter but an invited guest. A mother would tell you if their own child (whom you were making a cake for) had a deadly nut allergy.

I think the customer likely got a call from a concerned mom who's child was going to the party to inform her about their childs alergy and your customer wanted to "fix it" by lying to you.

Just MHO.





The sad and more discouraging thing is that it WAS her child and in fact she had TWO children with nut allergies and ONE guest. That is why she made sure I made an 8 inch instead of an individual cake for her daughter. So to me that makes her even more neglectful. Thanks for all the support from everyone. I haven't heard a word from her and probably won't. I did contact her friend that was a loyal customer of mine and had recommended me to her. I forwarded her e-mail to her stating that I considered her a loyal customer and that the money didn't mean as much as my reputation and I wanted her to know what was going on. It was hard to be professional with this customer and I really would have enjoyed "going off" on her but was glad I didn't. Why sink to her level?

tchrmom Posted 18 Aug 2008 , 1:57am
post #25 of 25

I have a peanut allergic son. I don't allow him to eat anything baked in someone else's home or a bakery for my own peace of mind. The cross-contamination risk is just too high.

It was ABSOLUTELY the mother's responsibility to tell you about all that. You were more than accommodating. As a parent of a highly allergic child, I sometimes feel like I have to make that the main thing that defines my child-- and I hate that, but I know how easy it is to forget what one child can or can't have-- especially at a party or in a classroom where there are many children and much activity. I really appreciate anyone who works so hard to keep my child (and other allergic children) safe.

Also, this complaint about BC v fondant is just ridiculous-- nothing to do with the allergies. That's just classless.

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