A woman says she suffered an allergic reaction at a Sovereign Harbour restaurant – despite checking if the food was safe to eat.
Victoria Constantinos ordered a pesto dish at 4 Seasons.
She said she asked if the pesto contained cashews, which she is allergic to, but said she was told it was made with ‘basil and olive oil’.
She said, “I have always checked this in the past as I know that it can also be made with pine nuts, which I can eat. However after eating some, I started feeling unwell with stomach ache.
“My friend went to ask a member of staff who went to check and on returning said it was cashew nuts. Bearing in mind now I’m feeling quite ill and had to go to the bathroom to vomit.”
She said the manager and chef then informed her the pesto had recently changed brand names and now contained cashews.
However, the restaurant claimed it had originally told Mrs Constantinos they ‘could not guarantee it did not contain traces of nuts’.
Mrs Constantinos added, “I ended up having to walk out as I was being sick. I cannot stress how dangerous this was and potentially life-threatening.
“It is just not good enough to tell me after I had already checked with the waiter, and after I had started to eat the hummus, that it contained cashews. Would it have been taken more seriously if I had needed medical attention?”
The 30-year-old from Langney said she was sick for four days and her partner had to take time off work to care for their newborn baby.
A 4 Seasons spokesperson said it would donate £100 to a charity of her choice, adding “After the waiter advised her the pesto contains pine nuts and cannot guarantee it does not contain other traces of nuts, the lady insisted she would be ‘fine’.
“We apologise if she has had an adverse reaction to any of our products or ingredients, we hope she is well and fully recovered.
“We take allergens very serious at Four Seasons, we have a 20 page list of allergens of all products and ingredients available to our all our customers and follow all FSA (Food Standard Agency) advice and guidelines.
“We urge anyone with a nut allergy to steer clear of pesto as it always contains traces of other nuts.”