The Disney Springs restaurant where the doctor dined before dying

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

US News

Published February 27, 2024, 5:34 pm ET

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

Staff at the tourist hotspot had already been trained to take food allergies “very seriously” before Kanokporn Tangsuan's death, said the employee, who wished to remain anonymous.

Tangsuan's husband, Jeffrey Piccolo, claimed in a lawsuit that she repeatedly alerted the wait staff at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant to her severe nut and dairy allergies – and workers insisted they could prepare allergen-free food during her Oct. 5 visit .

Raglan Road now asks guests about food allergies when taking orders, a manager told The Post. berkielynn/Flickr

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

Both Disney and the owners were named in the lawsuit.

The busy restaurant's manager told The Post on Tuesday that all employees were instructed to work with customers to find alternatives to foods with allergens – and to contact the kitchen if they are unsure.

“I don't know if it's because of the incident, but now the first thing we do when ordering is to ask if anyone at the table has any allergies. “We’ve been doing this since the end of last year, at least before Thanksgiving,” they added.

A guest's allergy is noted in the restaurant's system and anything ordered to their table that could cause a problem is flagged, according to staff.

“We treat the table as a unit. “So if a person says they are allergic to tree nuts, we will point out if anyone at the table orders something with tree nuts,” they added.

While some menu items may be changed, others may not, the manager explained, pointing out that the batter for most of their fried foods is made from dairy unless the customer specifically requests it to be made vegan become.

According to the lawsuit, Tangsuan ate onion rings, scallops and broccoli-corn cakes.

It is not clear whether she ordered the vegan version of the fried food.

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

“I don’t know which one she ordered, but she should have gotten the vegan ones and she would have been fine. The others have milk,” said the manager.

The employee acknowledged that with such a fast-paced kitchen, the restaurant still needs to take some safety precautions to avoid cross-contamination.

Disney fans in online forums generally praise the resort for its inclusivity and accommodation of various dietary restrictions and allergies.

However, Disney points out on its website that there are no separate kitchens for allergy sufferers and cannot guarantee that a menu item is completely free of allergens.

The restaurant is located in Disney Springs and is not owned by Disney. SOPA Images/LightRocket 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 ate at Raglan Road and a member of our group had eaten there [a] Shellfish allergy. “Everything went well (we also have dairy and gluten allergies),” another person replied.

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

“I have eaten at several different restaurants at Disney Springs with friends who have severe allergies. When this was pointed out to the waiters, the chef would come out and talk to them and take notes. I'm sorry that happened. Heartbreaking,” one person wrote.

The lawsuit claims Disney failed to educate its employees about serving allergy-safe foods. Vajiradhammapadip Temple Ltd./Facebook

Although most forum participants praised Disney for being allergy-friendly, some shared horror stories about their experiences eating foods they were told were allergen-free, only to realize the mistake later.

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

“My 9 year old got his dessert and ate some but decided he didn't like it so he stopped eating it. After a while I happened to notice that there was something that looked like an almond inside, and in fact they were silver almonds!” the poster wrote, adding that the manager was “completely unconcerned” about the incident.

It is unclear which part of Tangsuan's meal was contaminated. According to court documents, the coroner's inquest determined she died as a result of anaphylaxis due to “increased amounts of dairy products and nuts in her body,” the lawsuit says.

Tangsuan's husband, Jeffrey Piccolo, filed a negligence lawsuit against Disney, seeking over $50,000 in damages. Jeffrey Piccolo/Facebook

Court filings alleged that Disney promotes and makes it clear to the public at its parks and resorts that food allergies and/or accommodating those with food allergies is a “top priority.”

The lawsuit alleged that Disney “failed to educate, educate and/or instruct its employees” to “ensure that foods labeled as allergen-free or intended to be made allergen-free are in fact free of allergens.” “

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

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

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