If you don't have any food allergies, you might not think it's that big of a deal. If your kids don't have any food allergies, you might not think it's that big of a deal! You may not understand just how incredibly stressful it is to navigate life with a serious food allergy. How hard it is to eat out, or feel comfortable sending your kids to school or play dates. You may not realize how expensive it can be, to purchase EpiPens to carry with you at all times, to have one at school, one where you or your child is at all time. Even if they're not used, they're still needed! You probably don't get how isolating it can be when parents complain about not being able to send peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to school because of the peanut allergy kid, when even just a slight exposure to nuts could threaten that child's life. And you may not realize how hurtful silly jokes can be, like the one posted on the Facebook page of an Australian restaurant. If you and your kids don't have food allergies, then this ad might be funny to you. But for so many allergy parents, it's not a laughing matter.
A restaurant in Penrith, Australia is under fire for posting an insensitive ad on their Facebook page. The ad, for burger joint Downtown Brooklyn, is promoting their new dessert called The Reese's Piece. The chocolate and peanut butter confection has ice cream and peanut butter and chocolate syrup. In the ad, the restaurant warned patrons to "get those EpiPens ready", and said the dessert is sure to get the heart racing.
They're clearly poking fun at people who couldn't eat this dessert, and rely on EpiPens for their literal survival. Of all the ways to promote the dessert, it seems like a really low blow to do it at the expense of people who have allergies that they cannot control. The comment section on the post is filled with allergy sufferers and parents of kids with food allergies, imploring the restaurant to be more thoughtful with the ad.
But despite the blowback, Downtown Brooklyn is sticking to the guns, and refusing to even offer a mediocre apology. They have since posted a follow-up, apologizing not for the post, but for people not knowing how to take a joke. They also said they won't be deleting the post. Seems as though the staff at Downtown Brooklyn can use a little less peanut butter, and a little more compassion and empathy.