One father was forced to witness the most disturbing incident when he took his family to lunch at a local Panera Bread in Natick, Massachusetts. After ordering his meal online with careful instructions, including an allergy alert, dad and his 6-year-old daughter found themselves in for the fright of her life.
When they arrived at the restaurant and picked up their sandwiches, dad took his girl to a table and they started eating. Since she is allergic to peanuts, her dad, John Russo, was careful to alert the cooks. Plus, he ordered a grilled cheese for her, so there should be no worries.
But since Panera Bread employs immigrants in the kitchen who are unable to read or understand English, his girl started vomiting and was rushed to the ER. But dad’s jaw dropped when he saw what was inside her sandwich.
After his 6-year-old girl said her sandwich tasted “weird,” dad peeled the grilled cheese open. Inside, smack dab in the center, dad saw a large dollop of peanut butter. It was almost like the cooks at Panera Bread were trying to kill the severely allergic girl.
John Russo, the father of the victim, called 911 and his daughter was airlifted to a nearby hospital after she started vomiting and went into anaphylactic shock.
Russo claims that he used a computer to place his order with Panera Bread. This made it faster for him and his family. In the notes section, he carefully warned the staff that his daughter had a severe nut allergy. Plus, he ordered the grilled cheese, a nut-free food.
But before the little girl was even able to enjoy her cheesy sandwich, she started vomiting and broke out in hives.
Dad was appalled and shocked when he peeled apart the bread slices and found peanut butter slathered inside the grilled cheese sandwich.
After being airlifted to the hospital, the little girl was given a life-saving shot of epinephrine. Then she was forced to stay the night under doctor’s care because they wanted to make sure her allergic reaction had completely subsided.
While this might be shock enough, the real problem is in Panera Bread’s excuse for the accident.
Since the upset father couldn’t believe that despite his precaution, the restaurant still got his order wrong, he called up Panera Bread and demanded to speak to the manager.
When he asked the manager why there was peanut butter on his daughter’s grilled cheese sandwich, the manager said they had “language issues” in the kitchen.
The manager blamed the potentially deadly mistake on the immigrant cook’s inability to read English. Apparently, the immigrant read “peanut allergy” and thought it meant extra peanut butter on the grilled cheese sandwich.
Russo is not satisfied with the manager’s excuse. Even if that’s what happened, Panera Bread is putting people in the kitchen who are not able to safely identify food allergies. This is terrifying.
Russo is suing Panera Bread claiming the restaurant “engaged in unfair and deceptive business practices by adding peanut butter to the plaintiff’s grilled cheese sandwich knowing that she has a life-threatening peanut allergy.”
We hope the Russo’s win the lawsuit.
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