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snomnky

Warning, Outback Steakhouse!

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FYI, my son and i both had a severe reaction to food at the Outback, my son ended up in the ER because of an allergic reaction (severe allergy to wheat and celiac) I have contacted the restaurant but have not heard back. We took all necessary precautions and have eaten there without problem in the past. Just wanted to give a heads up!

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FYI, my son and i both had a severe reaction to food at the Outback, my son ended up in the ER because of an allergic reaction (severe allergy to wheat and celiac) I have contacted the restaurant but have not heard back. We took all necessary precautions and have eaten there without problem in the past. Just wanted to give a heads up!

s,

That's terrible. What do they do for a reaction in the ER? Did you both eat the exact same thing? What does a 20 month old with severe wheat and rice allergies eat at Outback? I've only been there once, not since being gluten-free. Hope he's OK.

best regards, lm

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s,

That's terrible. What do they do for a reaction in the ER? Did you both eat the exact same thing? What does a 20 month old with severe wheat and rice allergies eat at Outback? I've only been there once, not since being gluten-free. Hope he's OK.

best regards, lm

Erm ... good question....

I'm really not sure what people expect? If you eat out (and I do) then regardless of the care a resto takes accidents are going to happen.

I have never had a problem there.
Yep and you can also put a paper bag over your head and cross the highway.... and nothing happens but it doesn't mean its 100% safe. Sorry being sarcastic but that is the problem with CC or resto's...

You are always taking a chance.... you can do everything you can to mitigate the risk and pull it in your favor but at the end of the day its a risk... just one which is probably better than walking across a highhway with a paper bag over your head.

Incidentally people do this all the time in Egypt as a way to test their faith.... who knows, perhaps they get a kick out of it too like I did bungie jumping... but resto's can never be risk free... unless they are 100% gluten-free...

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Erm ... good question....

I'm really not sure what people expect? If you eat out (and I do) then regardless of the care a resto takes accidents are going to happen.

Yep and you can also put a paper bag over your head and cross the highway.... and nothing happens but it doesn't mean its 100% safe. Sorry being sarcastic but that is the problem with CC or resto's...

You are always taking a chance.... you can do everything you can to mitigate the risk and pull it in your favor but at the end of the day its a risk... just one which is probably better than walking across a highhway with a paper bag over your head.

Incidentally people do this all the time in Egypt as a way to test their faith.... who knows, perhaps they get a kick out of it too like I did bungie jumping... but resto's can never be risk free... unless they are 100% gluten-free...

I agree 100%--rest eating is a risk--no matter how careful you are!! Just like driving the car and breathing urban air and all the other risky things we do..so so sorry that y9ou and your child are ill--I hope you are better soon!!

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Just to add.... you can't be 100% safe.... even in hospital he could get glutened because very few hospital kitchens really can guarantee gluten-free....

Its pretty sad but that's just the way it is....

Funny thing is they can keep someone in a sterile room, free of bacteria ... free of dust etc. etc. but not feeding them gluten seems too challenging?

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And as nice as the people are and as complete a gluten-free menu they offer... you're still at the mercy of what happens behind the closed doors of the kitchen by clueless cooks, etc... not that I'm blaming them... but we can explain to the waitperson till we're blue in the face about our needs... and how that translates to the people actually touching your food can be like whisper down the lane!

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I just want to add that i recently have been experiencing that problem with this restaurant so i dont think that its an isolated incident.

We all know that cross contamination is an issue everywhere, i think the poster just wanted to give a heads up that things might have changed.

I had trouble at the Burbank one in Southern California.

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I went to the Outback in Saginaw, MI and ate the Alice Springs Chicken for my 46th birthday in Feb. 2007. The menu indicated that this was gluten free. I vomited and had the D simultaneously for almost 9 hours. I also needed to stay home from work for three days. I was so sick that I considered going to the ER. I now understand that the risk is not worth it. No restaurant can guarantee that they are gluten free and you can be certain that I will not take this risk again.

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I also had the Alice Springs Chicken and got very sick from it. I went to the Westbury, NY location. I also went there one night and I had just gotten the brownie sundae which was supposed to be gluten free. I'm not sure whether it was the brownie or the ice cream that bothered me, but I was a bit irritated then as well.

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ME TOO!!! The last time I got sick it was from having the Alice Springs Chicken!!!!! I'm wondering if they've changed it's preparation but the menu hasn't caught up?

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I appreciate that there are restaurants that try. Anytime we eat in a kitchen that has gluten in it, too, we take a risk, even at our own homes. If I had a wheat allergy, I would never eat out ... gluten intolerance may make me uncomfortable, but an unfortunate glutening isn't going to kill me.

I've eaten at different Outbacks and have never been sick from it, but it's my least favorite gluten-free place to eat. Our local Maggiano's does a great job with their gluten-free food, the chef's mother has celiac, so he knows all about it. He even reads our local celiac group's message board! I've been glutened there before, only once. It was a risk I was willing to take, for a meal that most likely would have been safe.

It's unfortunate that this happens, but it can happen anywhere. We have to understand that ... or else maybe places will be too scared of lawsuits to continue having a gluten-free menu.

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Disclaimer: I am not making light of, nor am I saying that any of you did NOT have a gluten reaction at Outback.

That said, I work at Outback. I started there a little over a year ago, when I was a full-time grad student, and now that I've finished grad school and have a full-time "grown-up" job, I still work as a server 2 days a week at Outback. It is a very nice place to work, and I find that I meet quite a few other Celiacs there, too!

The Alice Springs chicken is a VERY rich dish. In addition to the chicken breast being grilled with oil, it is then smothered in honey mustard (the salad dressing, it's mayo based), loads of cheese, and bacon. It would do a number on many a sensitive digestive system, Celiac or not. And it's not just the Alice Springs. Just like many other restaurants, Outback's food is good because it is so rich!

Outback is a chain. Of course not every location is going to be great, although that would be ideal. However, I have worked at 2 locations, and while not ALL of the servers are super knowledeable (they all come to me with the questions!), both Outbacks where I've been employed have truly gone out of their ways to do the best they possibly could to ensure a safe meal for the gluten free patrons. Servers, cooks, and managers alike have always bent over backwards to accomodate diners' dietary needs.

I hesitated to respond to this at first, because I am very sorry to hear that people have gotten sick and I did not want to appear callous or uncaring. I certainly hope that my response did not give that impression. I decided to post because I would just hate to see anyone totally write off Outback because of a few reported bad incidents. I think gfp made excellent points. Life is full of risks. When you have Celiac, eating out is one of them.

Best of luck, and hope that everyone is feeling well soon.

- Lauren

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Erm ... good question....

I'm really not sure what people expect? If you eat out (and I do) then regardless of the care a resto takes accidents are going to happen.

Yep and you can also put a paper bag over your head and cross the highway.... and nothing happens but it doesn't mean its 100% safe. Sorry being sarcastic but that is the problem with CC or resto's...

You are always taking a chance.... you can do everything you can to mitigate the risk and pull it in your favor but at the end of the day its a risk... just one which is probably better than walking across a highhway with a paper bag over your head.

Incidentally people do this all the time in Egypt as a way to test their faith.... who knows, perhaps they get a kick out of it too like I did bungie jumping... but resto's can never be risk free... unless they are 100% gluten-free...

I am well aware of the risk. I am also well aware of how well I handle myself at a restaurant. Because of my assertiveness, I rarely get sick. The reason I asked her the questions I did was to help her figure out what she may have done wrong.

No offense, but all too often Celiacs go to restaurants without calling ahead, without talking to a manager and simply relying on a gluten free menu. That type of action is not akin to walking across the freeway with a paper bag, its more like purposely falling down the stairs - you will definitely get hurt!

1. You should call ahead

2. If not, you need to talk to a manager/chef and remind them about clean utensils, clean grill tongs and clean hands.

3. Any dish that has a lot of ingredients (i.e. the Alice Springs Chicken) is doubling and even tripling your chance to get sick (more ingredients, more hands, more opportunity)

4. I go so far as to ask them to bring me my baked potato uncut and the butter and sour cream on the side - cross contamination with the knife that cuts the potato...

You do always take a chance, but through trial and error, asking questions, education and being assertive, you can minimize that risk.

BB

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No offense taken by me by your post. I have had two good experiences at the same OutBack. I had steak, potatoe and salad. No reaction to this, by the way. I do agree that the Alice Springs chicken is very rich, but my body's reaction was severe and don't think that it was because of richness. I've been at this one year and have lots to learn. I have learned that pain teaches a good lesson and continue to be reluctant to eat out.

Disclaimer: I am not making light of, nor am I saying that any of you did NOT have a gluten reaction at Outback.

That said, I work at Outback. I started there a little over a year ago, when I was a full-time grad student, and now that I've finished grad school and have a full-time "grown-up" job, I still work as a server 2 days a week at Outback. It is a very nice place to work, and I find that I meet quite a few other Celiacs there, too!

The Alice Springs chicken is a VERY rich dish. In addition to the chicken breast being grilled with oil, it is then smothered in honey mustard (the salad dressing, it's mayo based), loads of cheese, and bacon. It would do a number on many a sensitive digestive system, Celiac or not. And it's not just the Alice Springs. Just like many other restaurants, Outback's food is good because it is so rich!

Outback is a chain. Of course not every location is going to be great, although that would be ideal. However, I have worked at 2 locations, and while not ALL of the servers are super knowledeable (they all come to me with the questions!), both Outbacks where I've been employed have truly gone out of their ways to do the best they possibly could to ensure a safe meal for the gluten free patrons. Servers, cooks, and managers alike have always bent over backwards to accomodate diners' dietary needs.

I hesitated to respond to this at first, because I am very sorry to hear that people have gotten sick and I did not want to appear callous or uncaring. I certainly hope that my response did not give that impression. I decided to post because I would just hate to see anyone totally write off Outback because of a few reported bad incidents. I think gfp made excellent points. Life is full of risks. When you have Celiac, eating out is one of them.

Best of luck, and hope that everyone is feeling well soon.

- Lauren

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