Woman continually tries to trick coworkers into eating foods that they’re allergic to

Lefty Graves

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Chocolate Chip Cookies With NutsJulie Johnson/Unsplash

Many of us have food allergies. In my case, I suddenly broke out in hives, and after several trips to the doctor, we did an elimination diet. For those who don’t know what an elimination diet is, I ate only rice for three long weeks. No seasonings, no butter, just plain white rice boiled. It was very bland and very boring, and I lost several pounds over that three weeks.

After my elimination diet, I was allowed to introduce one or two new foods at a time. To do this, I chose very carefully what I would add every few days. In my case, as soon as I added wheat products, I began to break out in hives again. When I eliminated wheat and all other forms of gluten, I was hive free. I was also free of excess joint pain that I had suffered for years. Identifying my gluten sensitivity had taken me almost a year. I was miserable. Today, as long as I don’t eat gluten, I don’t have hives, and I have a lot less joint pain.

Recently, a woman discovered that she is allergic to nuts. She informed her coworkers, but one particular coworker, Jane, didn’t believe her. All of her coworkers, except for Jane, were very supportive of her need to avoid nuts. She didn’t mind if her coworkers ate nuts as long as they weren’t around her or gloating about it.

Unfortunately, Jane wasn’t at all respectful of her need to avoid nuts. Thankfully the OP had already decided not to eat anything that Jane brought in to eat. So when Jane brought in chocolate chip cookies, the OP didn’t partake. Jane had a previous reputation for ‘testing’ people's food allergies and sensitivities. She had already tested one person for gluten sensitivity. Food sensitivities can take as few as a minute to several hours to manifest themselves in a person. Each person’s body will react differently, even if they have the same food sensitivities.

Food allergies can be serious, and people can die from ingesting certain foods if their bodies react to them. As the OP was heading to the restroom, Jane asked how she liked the cookies. Thankfully, someone had already tipped the OP off that macadamia nuts were in the cookies, so she avoided them. Unfortunately, instead of telling Jane that she hadn’t eaten a cookie, the OP told her they were great.

Had the OP truly eaten a cookie, she could have been in for some serious health issues, but she lied and told Jane that the cookies were delicious. She missed a huge opportunity to call Jane to the carpet. While no one knows why Jane felt she had the right to ‘test’ everyone with a food allergy, it could cause some serious health issues among her coworkers. It’s just wrong to do that to people.

Eating a cookie could have caused serious health issues for the OP. Since she had pretended to eat a cookie, she had to follow through. The OP and another coworker, who assisted her as she faked her nut reaction, went off to the bathroom. Jane felt bad that she’d tricked the OP into eating a cookie.

The following day the OP was off work. However, another coworker messaged her saying that Jane, the coworker who supplied the cookies, was crying at her desk, felt terrible, and had been called into HR. So who is at fault here? Should the OP have pretended to have a food allergy attack over Jane's cookies?

Should Jane have been reprimanded for not disclosing the fact that she knew there were nuts in the cookies? Should Jane be testing everyone to see if they actually have food allergies? What if Jane gets fired over the OP pretending to have an allergic reaction? What would you do? Should Jane be fired even though the OP didn’t eat a cookie? Was the OP wrong for faking an allergic reaction? What do you think?

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Lefty has been writing online since 2000 on various topics, including youth mentoring, addiction recovery, parenting, gardening, advocating for seniors, sustainability, farming, and an eclectic mix of other topics. She resides on a farm with her family in Northeastern Washington state.

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