The Disney Springs restaurant, where the doctor dined before dying of allergies, now asks about food allergies in advance

US News


ORLANDO — The Disney Springs restaurant where NYU Langone's doctor ate before she went into anaphylactic shock and died is now asking diners about food allergies when taking orders, a manager told The Post.

Staff at the tourist hotspot were trained to take food allergies “seriously” even before Kanokporn Tangsuan's death, according to the employee who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Tangsuan's husband, Jeffrey Piccolo, alleged in a lawsuit that she alerted waitstaff at the Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant multiple times about her severe allergies to nuts and dairy — and workers insisted they were able to prepare allergen-free food during their Oct. 5 visit. . .

Raglan Road now asks diners about any food allergies when taking orders, a manager told The Post. perkilin/flickr

The pub is owned and operated by Irish partners John Cook and Paul Nolan.

Both Disney and its owners are named in the lawsuit.

All employees are being asked to work with customers to find alternatives to foods containing allergens — and to check with the kitchen if they're unsure, the manager of the busy restaurant told The Post on Tuesday.

“I don't know if this was due to the accident, but now the first thing we ask when we take the order is if anyone at the table has any allergies. We've been doing this since late last year, at least before Thanksgiving,” they added.

Diners' allergies are noted in the restaurant's system and anything ordered at their table that may cause a problem is flagged, according to the employee.

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“We treat the table as one entity. So, if someone says they have a nut allergy, we will communicate if anyone at the table orders something that contains nuts,” they added.

While some menu items can be modified, others cannot, the manager explained, noting that the dough for most of their fried food is made with dairy products unless a customer specifically requests it to be vegan.

Tangsuan ate onion rings, scallops, a piece of broccoli and corn, according to the lawsuit.

It's not clear if she ordered the vegetarian option on the fried food.

An anonymous employee at the tourist hotspot insisted that staff had been trained to take food allergies seriously even before Kanokporn Tangsuan (right) died. Jeffrey Piccolo/Facebook

“I don't know which ones you ordered, but you should have gotten the vegetarian ones, and you'll be fine. The others have milk,” the manager said.

The employee acknowledged that with such a fast-paced kitchen, the restaurant still needed to figure out some safeguards to avoid cross-contamination.

Disney fans praising online forums generally praise the resort for its inclusivity and accommodations for various dietary restrictions and allergies.

However, Disney warns on its website that no separate kitchens are allergen-free, and it cannot guarantee that a menu item will be completely allergen-free.

The restaurant located at Disney Springs is not owned by Disney. SOPA/LightRocket Images via Getty Images

Online commenters noted that Raglan Road's attention to food allergies seemed “almost identical” to what they would expect from Disney-owned bistros.

“We had dinner at Raglan Road and one of our group had dinner [a] Shellfish allergy. It went well (we also have dairy and gluten allergies),” another person replied.

A post about Tangsuan's death on WDW News Today's social media also sparked a shocked response from many Disney revelers who had great experiences at the resort's restaurants.

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“I have eaten at many different Disney Springs restaurants with friends who have severe allergies. Upon mentioning it to the servers, the chef comes out and speaks to them while taking notes. So sorry this happened. Heartbreaking.” one person wrote.

The lawsuit claims that Disney failed to educate its employees about serving allergy-safe food. Vajiradhamadeep Temple Ltd/Facebook

Although most forum posters praised Disney for being allergy-friendly, some shared horror stories about their experiences receiving food they were told was allergen-free, only to later realize they were wrong.

One DisBoards poster said her 9-year-old son was also given nuts at Raglan Road despite restaurant staff warning about his allergy.

“My 9 year old got candy and ate some of it, but decided he didn't like it so he stopped eating it. After a while I noticed what looked like almonds inside and sure enough it was a silver almond! The poster wrote, adding that the manager was 'completely cavalier' about the incident.”

It is not clear what part of the tangsuan meal was contaminated. According to court papers, the coroner's investigation revealed that she died of anaphylaxis due to “high levels of dairy and nut products in her system,” the lawsuit states.

Tangsuan's husband, Jeffrey Piccolo, sued Disney, citing negligence and seeking more than $50,000 in damages. Jeffrey Piccolo/Facebook

The court papers alleged that Disney advertises and explains to the public that food allergies and/or accommodations for people with food allergies are a “top priority” at its parks and resorts.

The suit alleged that Disney “failed to educate, train, and/or instruct its employees” to “ensure that food indicated as allergen-free or required to be made allergen-free was, in fact, allergen-free.”

Tangsuan's husband is seeking more than $50,000 in damages under Florida's wrongful death law, plus mental pain and suffering, loss of income and funeral expenses.

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Neither Disney nor Raglan Road responded to the lawsuit or requests for comment from The Post.




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