A Muskogee, Oklahoma woman says that her family was asked to leave a Pizza Hut restaurant, and that the restaurant’s actions add up to discrimination. According toThe Oklahoman,Candi Smithson said that she and her 2-year-old son Preston, along with four others they were dining with, were asked to leave the Pizza Hut. The reason? She had brought along a hamburger patty for her son, who has food allergies that prevented him from safely eating anything on the Pizza Hut menu.
According to his mother, Preston’s allergies prevent him from eating dairy or gluten – which rules out the dough or cheese on a pizza. Candi Smithson says that she bought the hamburger patty in a discreet container, saying “You want to be respectful of the other places you go into.” While others in the group ate pizza, Preston ate his hamburger patty, and a waitress noticed the outside food. A manager became involved, asking the group to leave.
An official at Pizza Hut’s corporate office said the company has no policy in place that would prevent the boy from eating outside food at one of its restaurants, and that the boy shouldn’t have been asked to leave. Spokesman Chris Fuller said “I’m not sure why the group was denied access. We are coordinating with the franchisee there to be sure they are aware of our policies.”
Smithson is now claiming that the restaurant violated her son’s civil rights, citing the Americans with Disabilities Act, which covers allergies that interfere with ‘major life activities’ such as eating.
What do you think? Should those with severe food allergies be allowed to bring outside foods into restaurants?