Dunkin’ Donuts allergy sign creates controversy

Last week, I visited my local Dunkin’ Donuts… for research purposes only, of course! When I had been there previously, the new Massachusetts law related to restaurants and food allergies had just gone into effect, causing DD to post a sign that used the required language, “Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy.” I remember shaking my head thinking “…and then what are they going to do about it?  Not exactly fine dining here.” (This head shaking only rivaled by my reaction to similar signs posted at the concession stands inside the TD Garden, home of the Boston Bruins and Celtics.)

During my visit last week, however, a new sign appeared at Dunkin’ Donuts. I stared at it for a while, trying to decide how it made me feel as the father of food-allergic children. I decided to pull out my phone, take a picture, post it on Facebook, and ask for reactions.

WOW! I wasn’t prepared for the never-ending list of comments! There was such fantastic feedback – and not all biased in a single direction – that I thought I should replicate the post here, with all the comments to date.

My question to the Facebook followers:  First thoughts when you see this?

Enjoy reading the tremendous feedback and feel free to add your own below!  [Note that bolded entries have been “liked” by more than 2 others and italicized by 1 or 2 others (all by 8AM EDT this morning).  Happens to make this a little easier to read too.]

Eileen: Let’s go to Krispy Kreme!

Tammy: As I told them – that their products r not to be consumed by people with food allergies! However, they say u need to ask the manager. They just post the sign to protect themselves???

AllergyEats: I’ll start. “Created by lawyers for lawyers.” (No offense to my friends in the legal services industry.) And is the food-allergy community part of the “valued customers” this is addressing?

Natalie: I miss donuts.

Gwen: Try www.holeydonuts.net. They are great, low-fat, low calorie, and nut-free!!!! Just tried them, and they are delicious! They have tons of sales and free shipping sometimes too. And also make delicious cinnamon buns. Great for nut allergic kids!!

Tricia: Dear customers, this establishment is your worst allergy nightmare. Run for your lives.
Thank you and have a nice day,
The Management.

Todd: It’s the CYA methodology, Cover your A$$. They’re not the first and certainly not the last, but I would love to see the day that all companies have to be responsible for the products or services they provide.

Christine: It gives the right to deny my daughter food. It is a horrible law made only to protect restaurants and NOT the people with food allergies. Horrible.

Kristin: Stay away

Jamie: I dont like it..I actually think all places will be doing this just so that they dont have to worry about a lawsuit..Before you know it, no one with peanut allergy will be able to eat anywhere.I bet in reality most of their items are or coudl be safe

Kimberly: The first thing I think is that it’s warning you to think twice before risking your health. THEY ARE DONUTS! If you are concerned about your health maybe you shouldn’t be there anyway!

Carol: My son was 4 when he saw a donut commercial on tv and asked me, “Mom, am I allowed to have those little cakes with the hole in the middle?” Poor kid didn’t even know what a donut was!

Tammy: I agree…..CYA……and they do not cater to the customer or they would be more accommodating. If you have special dietary needs, go away!

Jamie: Gwen, Are you sure they are nut free? Is it a nut free facility

Donna: Atleast they list allergens on their site but I think one of the only things my daughter was a bagel…thank goodness for Vegan treats for people with dairy/egg allergies!

Stacey: I get annoyed by this “catch all” Tim Hortons has the same sign on all of their doors, and windows. I understand they carry peanut butter cookies so there is a danger of cross contamination. It’s just unfortunate bc there probably is a few items that would be safe for my daughter. We don’t however purchase anything there for her. If we go to a drive through it’s coffee for mom and Dad and bottles of water for the kids. no food. This sign is all over in Canada. It’s on deli meat counters, in bakeries, restaurants etc. It’s an unwillingness to accomidate food allergic people. We are limited to one restaurant 45 minutes away with one meal. We go about once every few months. Reese’s allergies are peanuts, treenuts, eggs, soy, and reacts to all legumes (peas and beans) so most breads are out and most fast food items use soy as a preservative.

Annette: This is why I rarely eat out at chain restaurants.

Mike: This ought to be common sense for anyone with allergies. Bakeries in particular (and bakery-like businesses like DD) are rife with cross-contamination. If they serve anything with allergens, then you should assume that they serve EVERYTHING with allergens. It’s just not realistic to keep them separate unless they’re manufactured off-site at specialty facilities and served in vacuum-sealed packaging. But yes, it’s a CYA, because there are people who won’t use their heads or just don’t know they’re food-sensitive who will eat there, suffer a reaction, and then want to file suit. They’d be crazy NOT to post such a sign, given our incredibly litigious society.

Pauline: To followup on Stacey above me, I’ve even been told by someone at a Tim’s that there is potentially NOTHING safe (peanut allergy). I asked if the bottled water was safe I was asking a rhetorical question, obviously), and she said that she was told to tell customers that ALL items may have traces of nuts/peanuts in them. Obviously they’re not exactly educating their staff very well, and are just using the disclaimer to remove the need to think!

Gwen: Jamie, I haven’t called, but go to the website under nutritional info and click on ingredients…they list even all the frostings, crumb topping, etc. and allergens. They don’t use nuts in any of their products. And it’s not on the allergens list. I would call to make sure though. They are great…my daughter has had no problem with them. www.holeydonuts.net

Tracy: I think of CYA when I see this sign too. Get a similar sign in the form of a sticker on the pizza box when I order a gluten free pizza from Cottage Inn. I have the fun whammy of gluten intolerance, peanut, shellfish, pork allergy…so pretty much have come to terms with there are just some places I cannot go to eat. But would really like to see the day when restaurants and other eat out places can and will accommodate those with food allergies, esp since the number of food allergic people is growing and their business could take a large hit.

Scotty: Duh!

Susanna: “We don’t feel like taking the time to deal with your allergies. Please see sign if you have any questions and be on your merry way.”

Michele: I’d prefer they put the sign up as a reminder to people, or for those new to food allergies who may not realize bakeries and ice cream shops are not the places to go b/c of cross contamination, it probably is CYA but maybe that’s b/c so many people have given up on the idea of personal responsibility and want to sue for everything. Would it be nice if all restaurants could accommodate FA customers, sure but I think it is unrealistic given the number of different types of FA people have it would be impossible to cover everyone’s FA in one location so that’s why we have sites like this one to help navigate eating out based on our own personal FA concerns.

Joyce: I apprecaiate the fact they have put this up, or any place. However, I do think it’s the responsibility of the person, not the business to take care of your own allergy. I don’t expect anyone or everyone to care that my son is allergic to peanuts, so we just don’t worry about places that don’t care for allergy families. (Although, I will miss you DD, we’ve been good friends forever, now we’re thru! 🙂

AllergyEats: I hope our growing AllergyEats community is the pressure that causes this change in restaurant behavior. Restaurants ARE slowing starting to “get it”, and if they wake up the potential lost profits demonstrated by us, I’d be surprised if this trend didn’t actually accelerate! We need to keep growing the AllergyEats ratings base, community, and breadth of the site’s offerings. I can take care of the latter, but our need for the first two is why I always remind everyone to rate restaurants or click the Refer a Friend button on the main site. Growth at AllergyEats is excellent and accelerating, but if we can increase the pace even more, we can more quickly strengthen our influence.

Flora: Cross contamination lurks everywhere….have you observed the employees lately? Lord knows what is on their hands and/or gloves! I honestly rarely feel safe unless it is manufactured and factory sealed….or if it is in a store/restaurant that I know the management/owners. Hate being paranoid, but this is a health/life issue. We as a family avoid donut shops, fast food restaurants, etc. not just for allergy reasons, (my son has 200 allergies/intolerances), but for HEALTH issues, too..never met a healthy donut!

AJ: I would never eat at a fast food establishment like that. The employee education is nothing and their is no separation of ingredients. Anyone that needs that sign needs some education about their own allergies.

AllergyEats: The irony that ALWAYS comes up in my conversations about signs like this is that they provide ZERO real protection from lawsuits (prior cases have proven this). If something horrible were to happen in any restaurant (God forbid), that restaurant would absolutely be sued and very, very likely either settle or lose. Both would involve a lot of cash with the latter possibly including a lot of bad publicity that the restaurant wouldn’t want. Is that fair? Not necessarily, because I didn’t say the restaurant even had to be negligent – welcome to our “not my fault” society. But I do think it’s realistic.

Lori: Allergies are a way to eat healthy nutritious food. Listen to your body, allergy “substitutions” are simply more processed crap! Our society is so far removed from what is “healthy” no wonder so many of us have allergies. Allergies are a blessing in my life because and no longer have a desire to spend my dollars on disease promoting foods.

Kristin: My first thought, pass.

Sarah: No problem with the sign but I was just there 10 minutes ago, asked what the ingredients were in a bagel. They had no information. Why post signs like that if you aren’t going to have a list of the ingredients in the products!

Jules: Starbucks is no different. It’s a shame they don’t care enough to even find out whether there are allergens in their offerings – not even coffee!

Jamie:  Cool Gwen!

Linda: That is exactly how I see it, Lori! I have had that conversation with my peanut/tree nut allergic daughter many times.

Maria: Bruegger’s bagels has the same sign. First thought….they don’t want to deal with allergies-so eat at your own risk or don’t eat there at all.

Flora: Panera Bread has the sign too…but they also have a book handy with every product and all ingredients and nutritional info….When speaking with their management, they will do whatever it takes to accomodate and if they cannot, they are honest about it.

Jennifer: Why would those of us with food allergies eat in a place that makes industrial food in the first place? If you want to have control over what goes in your mouth, eating out generally isn’t safe to begin with. Eat at your own risk. It’s nice when they try, but ultimately the responsibility of what goes in your mouth is YOURS. I see that they do have a web site you can go to if you are really interested in eating there….

Konstanze: The sign says: “spend your money somewhere else!”

Lindey: i’d never have seen this sign as i make it a habit to avoid bakeries. ><

Karen: I think restaurants and food service establishments will be using a disclaimer like this to CYA, especially in Massachusetts. However, I think most people who have food allergies are aware that an establishment cannot guarantee 100% of the time that they will be allergen-free. Some restaurants are going above and beyond the call of duty to be more allergy-conscious and to take precautionary measures to ensure a safer meal for those with food allergies (i.e. preventing cross-contact and stricter label reading guidelines). Ultimately its up to the diner to decide if they are comfortable eating at a particular restaurant. Having said all this, the food-allergic customer who has a positive experience will then be a repeat customer and tell all their friends, so this will increase the restaurants business, creating a win/win situation for all.

Robin: Tim Hortons has the same sign, my son is allergic to nuts. They have told me what doesn’t contain nuts which I appreciate but as they have told me everything is put whereever on the counters so there you have cross contamination. I would rather have that sign be posted then have some idiot tell me that just because a donut doesn’t have nuts in it that it didn’t come in contact with something. I will knock on wood at this next line…. My son loves the chocolate glazed tim bits and we havent had a problem. With all my son’s allergies it has just come to a point that unless I make it or trust whoever is making it we don’t eat there. We can’t expect everyone to cater to all the allergies in the world there are just to dam many food allergies out there. Its nice when there is a restuarant that caters. If a resturant catered to all allergies it would be gluten free, nut free, seafood free, egg, dairy, pork free, beef free, corn free etc. What would they serve then? And if they had all seperate stations to make sure there was no cross contamination do you realize how big of a resturant it would have to be and how much we would have to pay for the food. In the end we as parents are the only ones responsible you can expect everyone else to know and to keep our kids safe. Sorry this was so long.

Sandrine: Voodoo donuts in Portland carry vegan donuts, my son had his very first donut at age 9 & the smile was priceless. That sign is awful!!

Amy: That is the reason why we don’t go to Dunkin’ Donuts. Even when I am not with my allergic kids I will not support their business.

Vicki: My first thought is, “I’m in the wrong place.” I’m grateful that there is a sign warning me about peanuts, but they’re not going to be able to help me get something safe to eat.

Nancy:  It junk!. I keep my kids ways from it anyways… but funny…

Laurie: Make your own ! Safer and more fun. There are great mini donut makers or you can make them the old fashion way. We do this as a family on weekends and our family loves it the donut maker is really quick and they are about $20 max.

Heather: It’sjust so much easier for companies to put out a blanket statement like this, protecting their own behinds, without any concerns for providing options for food allergic customers.It’s no different than the food labels of ‘may contain’….

Jennifer: I am allergic to soy so every donut place is out anyway. However, I’m not sure what bothers me more: The sign or all the clutter all over the counter around it. Makes me wonder if there are non food items in the donuts too.

Michelle: I’m assuming Holey Donuts contain egg, right?

Kayla: my 1st impression is: at least they are aware that costumers with allergies exist.

Ali: To me the sign is saying “we are not even going to try and we don’t care.”

Susan: Welcome to DD: Although we provide an itemized allergen list, we’re not all that careful about cross contamination, employee training, and vendor quality control. We don’t have any standards set in place so take your chances.

Gwen: Michelle, Holey Donuts does have may contain traces of egg in their allergen statement. Go to their ingredients page…I only saw egg whites in the crumb topping. You can call and see if there would be cross contamination. I do not give them to my egg allergic daughter but she is only two anyway. They are a great alternative when you have that donut craving.

Dilip: If you have food allergies, just go someplace else.

Erin: Don’t eat here!!!! And I miss donuts so much…

Phelicia: I totally agree with Ali! Well said Ali!! My family and I are SO VERY, VERY sick of this lame “cover your butt” proclamation. We worry that it won’t make a difference, but we’re boycotting establishments that say that kind of bologna. They will make a effort if they want our business!

Betsy: The customer is not number one. Do they even post ingredient lists anywhere?

AllergyEats: OH THE IRONY!!! Susan, I didn’t even realize until I read your post and checked their site… they have ALLERGEN GUIDES (under Nutrition) on their site!!!

Valeria: Gwen be careful donkin donuts does have peanuts now!!!!! I like you read ingredients and thought why are they putting this since non of their donuts have peanuts… well asked factory and they told me THEY ARE MAKING NOW A PEANUT BUTTER DONUT!!!!( I think peanut butter and banana or monkey something to be best of my recollection) or some kind of donut with peanut butter filling thus the statement
SO WITH SADNESS had to have my son never ever have a donkin donut again…. which he cries every time we go by the many many around us
Ps apparently this new donut is not everywhere but since it is there ansd prodiced in same machine/palce lies th eproblem I was told

Donna: I love how you asked for “first thoughts” and enjoyed reading them.

Janet: run.

Heather: They certainly don’t believe in providing information, do they?

Pam: It doesn’t make me feel very “valued”

Joyce: I think it is CYA, but I would rather that they tell me, so we can avoid the place. I am more fearful of businesses that may not be safe, but its not as obvious. I do worry that more places will post signs like this and we won’t have anyplace to go, but I do not expect that all restaurants can be allergy safe. For now, we carry food, eat at home and book hotels with kitchens.
My son has egg and peanut allergies so we bake muffins (using applesauce instead of egg) in donut shaped pans and he is happy. We also have made fried donuts, but that is a lot of work compared to baking.

Christine: FYI – it’s a law in Mass to have this posted either on the menu or at an ordering station. It does nothing to help food allergy patrons. It is only there to protect the resturants.

Elizabeth: Paul, I’m very interested in food allergy injury & liability. If you have any previous cases you can share with my by e-mail, I’d really appreciate hearing from you. I’m researching the topic right now, and your research would really be helpful to me. Best ~ Elizabeth

Debra: First thought is: Anyone with nut allergies should NOT eat there.

Debra:  I think their sign should make you feel “valued”. They are telling you right up front, don’t eat here 🙂

Sarah: Run away. Far away.

AllergyEats: Christine, for clarification purposes, this sign is not the result of the Massachusetts law. THAT sign was posted elsewhere in the required language “Please inform your server if anyone in your party has a food allergy.” This one was a “bonus” sign that just popped up recently. Maybe too many people were “informing the server?”

Christine: My mistake. This sign has been around for a long time, though. If you visit their website they are very clear on the allergy info.

Christine: I just need to add that I have checked the website and my daughter eats/drinks from Dunkins often with no problem.

Ali: @Phelicia – thanks!
@AllergyEats – though I’m a lawyer I won’t take offense at “by lawyers for lawyers” 🙂 though I actually kind of doubt a lawyer wrote that. I don’t do personal injury law – but basically it *is* the customers’ responsibility to keep themselves safe – the question is whether the restaurant is willing to help, entertain questions, provide information, etc., in that process. The “we’re not even gonna try” sign is ridiculous in light of what the highly rated places on your website have done – the sign makes it seem like it can’t be done – when we know it can be.

Neil: My first thought; BIG red flag, avoid this place! Seems they are trying to relieve themselves of responsibility or concern for cross-contamination. I will actively teach my allergic child to say “No Thank You” to places that display signs of this nature. Our money is better spent at a safe restaurant that can be trusted to make an effort to accommodate allergic customers.

LuAnn: Thanks to DD for making this statement and my son cannot eat from there.

Susan: It’s honest and considerate. I had to explain to my 2 year old why we can’t go to the donut shop anymore after her emergency room episode. I worked at a donut shop (not DD and they make everything in the same bowls, oil, and rollers where you add toppings. It’s not logical that they could truly make 1 safe item in that kind of atmosphere. It’s not like a boiling pot of water with some plain pasta and a sauce confirmed with the management that is easily made safely to order.

Amy: Turn around and walk out.

Susanne: Dear unvalued Dunkin’ Donuts, please be advised that my family and I may never set foot in any of your establishments ever again. Please visit a consultant for information on how to treat your customers.
— Former Customer

Debra: I don’t understand why people are blaming DD for posting this notice? What if you, as a parent, are having an off day and YOU FORGET to ask if their products are made on shared equipment. OR perhaps your child is with a sitter or someone who is NOT conditioned to asking about food allergies?
I for one am thankful that DD does post this sign! I do not, in any way, feel that DD is trying to “relieve themselves of responsibility or concern for cross-contamination”.
DD is a bakery after all and there is really no way that they can be 100% safe from contamination. This is why I make all of my own baked goods for my child to enjoy, safely 😉

So as you can see, this was a VERY popular topic for discussion.

What are your thoughts?  No leading questions here.  What was your first reaction when you saw the Dunkin’ Donuts sign at the top of this blog entry?  Any thoughts on others’ comments?  Please click Comments or Reply below.

And please remember to rate ALL of your restaurant experiences at our core AllergyEats site (www.allergyeats.com).  Not only does each new rating make AllergyEats more valuable for our food allergy and intolerance community, but the more everyone participates (and the more participants we have), the louder our voices will be heard in the restaurant community.  Is HAS started to happen, but there’s so much more to go!  Please refer friends to the site as well using the click box on the top right of the AllergyEats home page.



    Even if I wanted to eat there it makes me feel like they
    are asking not to.

    Ann-Marie Brennick

    The same exact thing happened to me at my local grocery store in the deli dept. So I asked the gentlemen at the deli and said what does this sign mean for someone with food allergies and his reply was surprisingly well taught. He said if my son or anyone with food allergies wanted to order something from the deli they would read the ingredients on what ever they wanted and they would clean the meat cutters for you before you placed an order. So I went ahead and ordered the imported ham because it has the least amount of ingrienents and was safe for my son and the gentlemen took special care in cleaning the counters, the meat cutters and then changed his gloves. I have to say I was quite impressed with the thorough job he did even though the deli was extremely busy.


    I agree with all the different points of view. I especially like the one comment about how food allergies have been a blessing because it makes you aware of what you are putting in your body. My son has 16 identified allergies and that limits us greatly with what he can consume but it has made my husband and I change our diet completely because we now realize how much sh** they put in our food. Less crap, less allergies IMO.


    Having worked in an independent donut shop (in a former Dunkin facility) many moons ago as a teenager, I know that I will never give my PNA kids treats from a place that also makes the peanut-covered ones. The logistics and pace of the donut-making process simply aren’t reliable enough to segregate the peanut-coating bin from the other goods. The wire racks get fresh paper for a new batch, but don’t always get washed between, and they’re stacked up on top of each other while awaiting the day’s baking. It’s just a fact of life for that kind of food. Happiness can be found elsewhere.

    I am grateful to live in the hometown of Krispy Kreme, and take every opportunity to tell corporate executives hanging out in the shop down the street from HQ that the nut allergy people are appreciative of their nut-free line of products.


    OK I think they should reconsider how they have stated they’er possition. With a little re-wording they could say the same thing and not make everyone angry. However, as someone with peanut, dairy, banana,eucalyptus (think cold meds)and corn allergies I do not eat out if I can help it anyhow as most products have one or another of these foods-there are more than 4,000 products in grocery stores alone that contain corn. So no DD for me or anyone in my house.


    Valeria- Don’t forget the SHAVED peanut butter cup topping on the peanut butter donut! Before that donut won the contest, I sent them an email because at least 5 of the donuts in the contest had some sort of nuts in or on them. I got back the standard “thank you for your feedback” email. Not worth the risk to me or my daughter.


    hat is the exact sign that DDs in CT have been displaying for several years now. Never have been able to allow my severely allergic son eat anything from there (although my non-allergic daughter enjoys a donut or two ever once in a while.) But get this, he has a peanut/treenut allergic school friend, who eats there an has brought in donut holes for class celebrations. I just don’t get some families! Ugh! About 8 or 9 years ago, when there were two Krispy Kreme shops here in CT, we used to travel over 30 minutes to get their donuts, so my son could enjoy a donut. However, that was shortlived because they closed those stores about 7 years ago. 🙁
    We have tried the holeydonuts (I actually have bought them in the freezer of the organic section of Stop and Shop). They do taste good. But having grown up in MA I have fond memories of often stopping by our local DD after Sunday Mass to get a dozen donuts. Can’t really do that now.


    I think it is great to voice our concern each and every time we are presented with food allergy challenges, if they hear from enough people, food establishments will respond. Having said that, after dealing with these issues for the last 20+ years, great progress has been made to accommodate food restriction at food establishments but I keep coming back to…if Disney can safely accommodate children with food allergies (in an environment with hugh cross contamination issues) why can’t that be the gold standard for the food industry? It can be done, and no one is discriminated against. Nothing, however, replaces personal responsibilty.


    Greta debate. I’ve blogged about “CYA” signage before. It seems like a lame attempt for use later to say “we told you so” in case anything makes someone sick.

    It’s cheap… but at the same time… if I had a peanut or gluten or even a maple allergy… I wouldn’t go there.

    With my shellfish allergy, I’m not looking to dine at Joe’s Crab Shack… but at the same time, I don’t want people lobbying Five Guys Burgers & Fries to get rid of peanuts. I like that part of the experience!


    Of course it is a “CYA”, don’t they HAVE to? If anyone was allowing their child or eating there themselves and has sever FA, they need to find a new allergist. Maybe one who can educate them about the dangers of bakeries. A few years ago, one of the “allowed” snacks in nut-free daycares was munchkins! I started my son who has a sever peanut allergy there and explained why there is no way I’m allowing this anywhere near my kid or in a “nut free” school.
    It is a starting place, as FA’s become more and more common, so does awareness. Thanks to sites like this one, voices can be heard and eventually change can be made.


    This statement is one which I see on nearly everything in the US. Every business has a legal representative. I am of the opinion that this statement is a standard disclaimer which the lawyers are considering a blanket disclaimer to CYA/cover every food business from liability. If you read the ingredients on food labels, the statement is no longer a standard “Allergy: Contains milk & soy” or something. In every case now is found a standard disclaimer that the item is manufactured in a facility which processes milk, nuts, & whatever else. Frankly, I go with the standard. I do not have anaphylaxis, therefore, if it says no dairy for me, that’s good enough. Our big worry is the manufacturers which are changing the names of ingredients and making it harder to ascertain exactly what it’s made with.


    I’m curious: Almost all of Trader Joe’s products contain that “Good manufacturing practices….” allergen statement. I won’t buy these products. Do others feel the same way? I think it is similar to DD’s warning -total CYA, unhelpful to the consumer and total BS.

    To me, Trader Joe’s allergen statement says, “May or may not contain [allergen.] Maybe our good manufacturing practices kept the allergen out, maybe not. You’ll never know.”

    paula attridge

    Ener-G is a company on the West Coast – Seattle – who offers donuts and other baked products. I know this won’t cover all the allergies, but I hope it helps some people. Think of all the money you are saving not purchasing food at Dunkin Donuts. The corporate headquarters are right down the road in Canton, MA and I purchase food from Seattle, WA. Hmmm.

    Chocolate Iced Doughnuts – Seasonal
    Free of: gluten, wheat, casein, dairy, yeast, soy, nut

    Ingredients: Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Whole Eggs, Filtered Water, Orange Juice, Hi Maize Corn Starch, Egg White Powder, Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Sodium Bicarbonate, Ener-G Baking Powder (calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, glucono delta lactone, citric acid), Salt, Xanthan Gum, Pure Vanilla (vanilla bean & corn sugar). Enriched with Thiamin (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin Vitamin B2),Niacin, Iron ,Folic acid and Vitamin D. Fried in Organic Palm Fruit Oil. Chocolate Icing: Unsweetened Chocolate, Drivert Sugar, Water.


    I just got a response from Holey Donuts stating the following…
    “Hi Megan, we wouldn’t recommend purchasing our donuts for your son. Our newest donuts( dark cherry, pink berri and lemon chunk) have traces of tree nuts.”
    So, they have started to use some tree nuts. Don’t want to burst any bubbles, but thought we all needed to know.


    All Bruegger’s managers and assistant managers are trained and VERY receptive to allergen
    concerns. We will go out of our way to accomadate ANY concerns of our guests!


    I don’t understand why people tell those with FAs that it is our responsibility. We are well aware of that. Signs like this and uneducated staff take away our ability to be responsible, and still eat like a reasonably normal person. At our grocers, the deli and bakery both have this sign. As more and more companies go this route, our options get narrower and narrower. If all bakeries (including commercial ones) go this route, will those with food allergies be told to just shut up and make our own bread? Should we grind our own wheat as well? An allergy to one item should not mean that all items are out of reach. There are some people with food allergies so severe that the slightest risk of cross contamination rules out restaurant food. But there are MANY of us who just need to know what the actual ingredients are and that some reasonable precautions were taken. I would prefer to see a sign that says “customers should be aware that there is always a risk of allergen cross-contamination. That said, we would be happy to discuss ingredients and handling with you if you have questions about a particular item.”


    They’re required by Massachusetts state law to post a food allergy warning. Everyone has become ridiculously overly sensitive and PC and your over-exaggeration about the wording of their warning only enhances that. I take allergies serious– I think you being offended by a Dunkin Donuts sign is ridiculous.


    Matt, just for clarification, the sign shared here is not the one required by MA law (that’s elsewhere). This one is a DD initiative.

    I also don’t believe most of the comments here (including my own) are expressing that the writers are offended by the sign as much as disappointed. But I’ll only speak for myself there.

    This isn’t to be dismissive or defensive – just a contrary opinion. Your words are well-taken.


    I HATE THIS SIGN. Why? Because Dunkin’ Donuts does not have ANY products on its menu that contain peanuts. So it’s CYA and nothing more.

    I actually contacted DD about this online years ago — but never received a response.


    I don’t understand the complaints about the sign being CYA. It’s not just CYA. It’s the TRUTH. DD is not a nut-free facility and never claimed to be. Therefore the sign is merely stating the truth. Even if you see no nuts in your donuts, it does not mean that the flour, sugar, oil, or the other ingredients were produced in a nut-free facility. Cross contamination is almost impossible to prevent unless everything in the facility is certified nut-free.

    I feel for those of you with food restrictions. But I would be happier to see a sign alerting me of the risk, than not knowing and then getting sick.


    I AGREE with Young. I have an ” intolerence” to dairy,an intolerance is not life threatening and I just take precaustions before eating dairy. As for the people with allergies,which are in fact life threatening,I would prepare my meal at home and if the family i eating out then bring with you. I run a very very fast paced restaurant with the smallest kitchen and an 8 page menu. Seafood mostly. I get people coming in stating they are allergic to crabs.Why did you come to this restaurant? I get customers giving us/me a hard time because we can not accomodate them,to the point of me thinking of saying” ok we can “try” to help”….which will never happen. I, nor the owners or staff are going to be responsible for ones death. It’s pure ignorance on there part. We are honest. If we could we would.We also do not know how some products are prepared that we order from major food companies, we are not going to guess.It’s hard enough getting food out in the proper time frame for guests and the people that are waiting over 2 hours to get in, and being asked to change the “pace” and “way” the cooks get items out is ridiculous.


    The original post apparently did NOT like the first sign: “Please advise your server if anyone if your party has a food allergy”. As a restaurant owner, I’m genuinely interested in WHY this was perceived as a negative. Our staff is trained on how to advise customers of things that they should NOT order, base on their allergy, AND on special procedures that we follow when preparing food for customers WITH allergies to particular foods. However, it is very difficult to be helpful when the customer does NOT advise us.

    Tonight, we had a typical problem. In a party of 4, three people ordered fried shrimp with french fries. One person ordered fried chicken strips with fries. All was packaged “to go”, as requested by the customer. However, when they arrived home, a single shrimp was found in the chicken and fries order — and that person ordered the chicken because they are SEVERELY allergic to shrimp.

    We will never know how the shrimp “jumped” orders — but, let’s say that we was packed that way. In the rush of things, errors do occur. BUT, did the customer NOT have a responsibility to alert the server to the situation, so that the server could take extra caution to ENSURE that the chicken/fries order was cooked and packaged ENTIRELY separately? that this order presented special risk?


    We totally stopped buying doughnuts for my son with multiple food allergies after he had an anaphylaxis from a glazed doughnut at Krispy Kreme. It’s really hard to tell which is safe to eat and which is not safe anymore, and the heartbreak to see our son get so scared that he could die is not worth the risk. We started baking his doughnuts at home.


    i don’t understand the problem here. they put up a sign like they were told to. what is the problem?
    and to the people saying that ALL restaurants should be serving food that is allergen-free, keep in mind, only about 5% of the US population has allergies. many of the rest of us LIKE nuts in our doughnuts. why do you want the majority of people to just do things your way.
    and if you are trying to eat healthy, what are you doing going to restaurants? there are about the same percentage of healthy restaurants out there as there are people with allergies, so in my book it works out to even…


    just so that i am clear: if YOU have an allergy that requires special food considerations, it falls on YOU to be aware of such foods. it is GOOD that they are passing laws to make people more aware of their rights, and of potential pitfalls, and it is ALWAYS important to know WHAT you are eating, regardless of allergies, but i fail to see how such a sign “hurts” anyone in any way. it’s like a STOP sign. it doesn’t tell you WHY to stop, just that it’s a good idea…
    and what is on that sign certainly makes for a smaller sign than the one they would have had to make to contain all the stuff you are allergic to on it…


    You all got your wish. Now they refuse to make my drink with almond milk even though almond milk is the only thing I can have. They say “it’s allergy season” as if people don’t have allergies all year round.


    I work in a kitchen and try with every fiber in my being to cater to allergy orders – the problem that is faced in a kitchen is that cross contamination or cross contact affects people differently. If the kitchen itself has products that contain the allergen then surfaces are not safe for those with the most sensitive of allergies. We do everything in our power to limit any contact, but the product is in fact in the building. The best example I can think of is for gluten allergies. We have a fryer that we cook fries in that we also cook breaded products in. For those who have severe sensitivity to gluten and wheat they shouldn’t consume even fries that are inherently gluten/wheat free. This information isn’t common knowledge to the average person which makes everything a little more complicated. I think that with allergies you cant be too careful and it is good to know the realities – talking to a manager who is informed really is the smartest course of action to keep yourself as safe as possible.

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