People across the world love pizza. In fact, according to Pizza.com, over 5 billion pizzas are sold worldwide each year.
Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza a day, or 350 slices per second. That’s a lot of pizza.
But one father who wanted to let his son indulge in the cheesy goodness instead experienced a nightmare situation.
Sajid Hussain took his two-year-old son Zayaan to a Pizza Hut in the U.K. and asked for a vegan pizza because Zayaan has a severe dairy allergy.
“Even when we received the pizza, I wouldn’t let him eat it before reconfirming that it was definitely dairy-free. They said it was, so he ate the pizza,” Hussain said.
The employees at the Blackpool Pizza Hut assured the parents that the food was safe to eat. But after eating the margherita pizza, Zayaan went into anaphylactic shock.
“Ten minutes went by and he just started shutting down,” his dad recalled to the Blackpool Gazette. “Something wasn’t right.”
He couldn’t respond to his parents, had trouble breathing, and began vomiting.
“While I was on the phone, Zayaan was violently sick everywhere and when the paramedics arrived his oxygen levels were really low,” Hussain said.
“It actually got worse as we got to the hospital. There were talks of him having to be resuscitated. Luckily my wife had the Epipens with her.”
The little boy was treated at Blackpool Victoria Hospital for two days after the incident, and his father says that Zayaan “is still not quite himself but he’s much better.”
“There are no words to truly describe what we were thinking. It was a very, very traumatic experience and not one I would ever want to go through again,” Hussain added.
The father spoke to Piza Hut about the incident and also informed Environmental Health. Pizza Hut issued a statement, saying that they “are very sorry for what happened.”
“We realize it was an unacceptable situation and have already completed an internal investigation with the Hut, which found that the wrong pizza was given to the family as a result of human error. We will share the full investigation findings with the Hussain family and are taking appropriate action at this restaurant to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Hussain added, “The last thing I want is for someone else to be in that sort of situation. We managed to save our son, but other people might not be so lucky.”
As parents, we can never be too sure about food safety for our kids with allergies. Zayaan’s mother was lucky that she carried epinephrine injectors. Doctors are now recommending that anyone with a severe allergy should carry at least two EpiPens because one might not be enough to treat the reaction.
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