Nut Allergy Situation

Decorating By cookieman Updated 13 Feb 2009 , 7:03pm by keyshia

cookieman Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 2:43pm
post #1 of 11

I do not have a business making cakes. Once in a blue moon (3-5 times a year) I do make cakes and cookies for people who like my baked goods and want to offer me money in return; I consider it a donation.

That said...my niece's friend wants a cake for her son's birthday. He is turning 8 and is allergic to nuts. I found this out after a lot of going back and forth about the cake particulars. I know I should have asked up front about the allergy, but I didn't . My fault.

In the end, I decided not to do the cake as I do not want to be responsible if anything happens to the kid. I know that a lot of ingredients, although they may not contain nuts, are processed in places where there are nuts. This is what scares me.

I felt badly about reneging after all the back and forth, but I feel much better having declined knowing that I could be held responsible if something happens. In your opinion, did I make the right decision? I'm curious as to what others think. Thanks!

10 replies
cor39 Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 3:03pm
post #2 of 11

If you feel better after making your desicion, then it was the right one to make. I am sure you explained why you were worried about making the cake for this particular little boy, maybe you have someone you can recommend to this person so that she has options.

cookieman Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 3:09pm
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cor39

If you feel better after making your desicion, then it was the right one to make. I am sure you explained why you were worried about making the cake for this particular little boy, maybe you have someone you can recommend to this person so that she has options.




Thanks so much cor39. I already did recommend someone so I really feel better now. I know in the end my decision is the right one (since I have to live with myself), I was just curious as to how others without a business might handle this.

brincess_b Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 3:15pm
post #4 of 11

theres no way you can guarentee a cake is entirely nut free, so to me, theres no way you can do the cake. so u did the right thing. there are bakeries that guarentee they are nut free, maybe see if theres any around you incase you come across anyoen else with a nut allergy.
xx

-K8memphis Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 3:28pm
post #5 of 11

Yes. I think you made the right decision.

I mean say for example someone orders a cake for a co-worker who has a hitherto unknown religious reason or strong personal preference, like no real whipped cream, no alcohol (like in vanilla) like no eggs for our vegan folks. Those ingredients would be offensive to some folks but nobody's gonna need to whip out an epi pen and watch their little face and esophagus blow up and hear them gasp for breath if something went wrong.

My son was on a special diet and I never asked anyone to make accomodations for him--his issue was non-epi pen related.

One other aspect of this is that mothers who have kids with nut allergies typically--or at least everyone I've ever met--no offense to anyone who is or isn't like this--they get real intense about this and want more and more and more.

Their hearts are broken for thier kids and they want them to be able to eat stuff just like everybody else. So they encroach more and more to get you to help them make their kids life more 'normal'. Except that's not my responsibility. And except for the teeny little fact that doing so might kill them. I do sympathize but never as much as they want because I tend to have to run screaming when they approach.

This has just been my personal experience -- I'm sure not everyone is like this but the one's I've encountered are like this.

See, I mean there has to be a lot of folks who don't try & buy baked goods because they don't wanna run the risk of hurting their kid so they never approach but there's this section of nut allergy Mom's who are very very demanding looking for a soft spot to squeeze.

Total no offense to anyone, nutty or not. icon_biggrin.gif

Buy yeah, right decision--because once it gets out that you will bake for one the rest will follow.

JodieF Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 4:56pm
post #6 of 11

Just wanted to throw this out there. I have been diagnosed with a tree nut and shellfish allergy. I have NEVER had a severe, breathing related reaction. I have had tingling and numbness in my mouth with nuts, and I got hives after eating shrimp. I avoid tree nuts and shellfish because there is the possibility I might have a more severe reaction. There are many, many people with food allergies that still eat the foods (although I wouldn't do that...too big a risk!).

My point is, if this childs' reactions were terribly severe, the mom probably wouldn't have asked you to make the cake in the first place. She wanted you to take basic precautions. For example, while I don't eat tree nuts and shellfish, I don't have to be panicked over whether or not a cake mix was made in a plant where tree nuts might be. This might have been that kind of circumstance.

I certainly appreciate your worries, but I would suspect the mom wouldn't have even asked you in the first place if her childs' life would have been in danger.

Jodie

JodieF Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 5:16pm
post #7 of 11

Just wanted to throw this out there. I have been diagnosed with a tree nut and shellfish allergy. I have NEVER had a severe, breathing related reaction. I have had tingling and numbness in my mouth with nuts, and I got hives after eating shrimp. I avoid tree nuts and shellfish because there is the possibility I might have a more severe reaction. There are many, many people with food allergies that still eat the foods (although I wouldn't do that...too big a risk!).

My point is, if this childs' reactions were terribly severe, the mom probably wouldn't have asked you to make the cake in the first place. She wanted you to take basic precautions. For example, while I don't eat tree nuts and shellfish, I don't have to be panicked over whether or not a cake mix was made in a plant where tree nuts might be. This might have been that kind of circumstance.

I certainly appreciate your worries, but I would suspect the mom wouldn't have even asked you in the first place if her childs' life would have been in danger.

Jodie

kakeladi Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 5:22pm
post #8 of 11

There are soooooo many levels of severity that the mom should have been very upfront w/you in the 1st place. It is not your place to ask each and every person who orders from you about allergies. It is up to the person ordering to make it clear if there are any and how severe.

I have many food allergiesicon_sad.gif (beef, melons, coconut just to name a few). It's no fun to have to by pass foods but then it's no fun to not be able to breath either!

cookieman Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 5:41pm
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JodieF

Just wanted to throw this out there. I have been diagnosed with a tree nut and shellfish allergy. I have NEVER had a severe, breathing related reaction. I have had tingling and numbness in my mouth with nuts, and I got hives after eating shrimp. I avoid tree nuts and shellfish because there is the possibility I might have a more severe reaction. There are many, many people with food allergies that still eat the foods (although I wouldn't do that...too big a risk!).

My point is, if this childs' reactions were terribly severe, the mom probably wouldn't have asked you to make the cake in the first place. She wanted you to take basic precautions. For example, while I don't eat tree nuts and shellfish, I don't have to be panicked over whether or not a cake mix was made in a plant where tree nuts might be. This might have been that kind of circumstance.

I certainly appreciate your worries, but I would suspect the mom wouldn't have even asked you in the first place if her childs' life would have been in danger.

Jodie




Thanks so much Jodie; your post is very informative. I appeciate your taking the time to write. I didn't realize that one could eat things made in a plant where nuts are processed if one had a nut allergy.

Still, since I am not in business and have no legal recourse if anything were to happen, I feel so much better now having turned down the request. Thanks again to everyone who replied.

Kiddiekakes Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 6:12pm
post #10 of 11

I ditto K8Memphis....I do not offer Allergy restricted cakes at all.I have customers/parents from school all the time trying to...shall we say...Bully me into doing it and I just won't!! I do not want the responsibility if someone should fall ill....It upsets me somewhat that they push so hard and when you tell them no and what the cost ingredients would be do tackle such a cake they don't want to pay the price anyway!! Too expensive they say...well HELLO...It costs money to buy special Gluten-free mixes etc...So I have learned to just tell the customers that if there is a child attending the party who has allergies to Nuts,Dairy,Gluten then they should make arrangements with the parent to have another snack option available for that child.

keyshia Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 7:03pm
post #11 of 11

I definitely think you made the right decision. I have a son that is nut allergic, so I have the benefit of being on both sides of the fence. Prior to my own son being allergic, I had no clue about things related to allergies. My initial thought was that things just couldn't have nuts in them...I never knew you have to read the ingredients on all things because there aer some things (like Jelly Belly's) that my son can't have because they are manufactured in a nut facility. Additionally, it's not just what's IN the food you have to worry about, you also have to worry about cross contamination from other things that you've made in your house. I feel confident offering a nut free cake because we are a nut safe environment. I don't allow nuts into my home because my son is so allergic to so many different kinds of nuts. But i recently made a vegan cake for a child that was allergic to dairy and eggs, and I used sugarshack's icing thinking after reading that the coffee creamer was "lactose, dairy, cholesterol etc free" that it was safe. Only to find out later that it had a milk derivitve in it...Thank GOD that the little boy didn't have a reaction, but it really scrared me. I do understand a lot about the cross contamination, and how to handle foods to avoid allergens, but that was eye opening that things like milk and wheat are harder because they have "secret" names.

Okay...so why did I go on my tangent??? Who knows! haha. I'm out of it today! But I do agree that the mom should have been upfront about the allergy, and that is one of the main reasons I decorate...so that my son CAN have the normal bday cakes etc. icon_smile.gif

Keyshia

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