pizzasm 2

I Just Ate What? 11/11/10

Laura Cooke asks the question: how many of you have eaten meat and haven't noticed?

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I recently came across a post from Pizza Hut in the States, talking about how they got “blasted for serving meat to a vegetarian.”

Ros Penny, a vegetarian for 20 years, was dining at the Havant branch of Pizza Hut with a friend after a day out shopping. Upon making her order, Ms Penny specifically asked for her vegetarian pizza to be topped with a cheese that did not come from animal rennet.
The staff at the restaurant first checked with kitchen staff that this would be ok, before assuring the 50-year-old diner that her pizza would be 100% veggie.
However a few slices into what she believed was a vegetarian pizza, Ms Penny realised she was chewing on a piece of ham. Because of the thick layer of cheese covering the toppings on the pizza, Ms Penny had not realised straight away that her pizza contained meat.

What I am interested in, is how often has this happened to other vegetarians?

There have been a few similar occasions in my life where I have been fed, for example, macaroni and cheese only to find ham lurking in its depths.

My worst incident would definitely be the time that I ordered a ravioli dish at a Panarottis.

After quite a few mouthfuls of a rather bland dish, I realised that I was not eating ricotta, but rather they had served me mince! It doesn’t say much for the quality of the food as I didn’t really even notice the flavour of the pasta amid the unremarkable tomato-based sauce.

Like Ms Penny experienced, all the restaurant did was apologize, bring another plate and waive the bill. I didn’t take it further, but would like to know if any others have had similar experiences and how you have dealt with them?

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Laura Cooke is the editor and creator of the Veggie Bunch website and community.

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2 Responses to this article

Elena November 14, 2010 Reply

Only once have I eaten meat accidentally. It was from a platter at a wedding that looked like tomatoes on top of crackers, but had salmon buried underneath. I can’t hear well enough to ask a server and caterers don’t have a system for letting people know what’s vegetarian (a colored dot on the edge of a platter would be fantastic), so now I just don’t eat until the main meal.

I’m nervous of it happening again so I always cut and check my meal before eating at restaurants now. Once I was given a mince-filled burrito instead of just black beans. I sat and seriously pondered the ethics of me eating it vs the kitchen throwing it out, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. Hopefully someone in back got a free lunch.

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editor November 26, 2010 Reply

I know exactly what you mean. Functions are often particularly difficult, as the platters all look very similar and you don’t know until it’s too late that what you thought was a veggie samoosa, is not.
I also find certain things very difficult to eat to avoid wastage. I don’t mind occasionally eating meals with egg in them, but I admit that I don’t think I could stomach eating a mince burrito rather than a veg one.

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