A while ago, I wrote to Pizza Hut, just being goofy for the most part… commenting on how Pizza Hut’s sauce rips through me like… well, have you ever seen a cat with its head stuck in something & it flailing round to try to get it out? Yeah. It’s like that.
They wrote back, and the message from Mr. Kronenwetter actually raised a little concern for me. I noticed that some of their foods may contain shellfish allergens, although there is no shellfish to be found on the menu. If you’ve read the background on my shellfish allergy, you’d know that it freaked me out a little. I say just a little becuase I’ve eaten there without any allergy-related problems (that I know of)… so far.
I don’t have a response yet, but I thought I’d share my most recent email to them…
from ERiC AiXeLsyD
to Dave Kronenwetter
cc Ed Holt
date Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 2:17 PM
subject Re: Pizza Hut Incident Eric Aixelsyd
Thank you Mr. Kronenwetter,
You are, as of yet, the only representative from Pizza Hut or Yum! Brands that has answered my original query. I applaud your dedication to service and customer satisfaction. I used the contact form on the website, and acquired some email addresses from around the web when I discovered that was to no avail.
I am interested in the linked allergen information though. I do have a severe shellfish allergy, and it concerns me that items with an “•” are notated with the ominous “products are prepared in common equipment and therefore may contain allergen” warning.
More interesting to me are the items marked…
- SAUCES; All-Natural Pizza Sauce, All-Natural Sweet Pizza Sauce, All-Natural Old World Pizza Sauce
- TUSCANI PASTAS; Lasagna, Chicken Alfredo, Meaty Marinara
- APPETIZERS Served with dipping sauce; Breadsticks
- WS Bone Out Wings; Garlic Parmesan
- WS Crispy Bone In Wings; Garlic Parmesan
- WS Traditional Wings; Garlic Parmesan
I see from the menu & nutritional info available online that there’s no shellfish available to order, so the “prepared in common equipment” line really really confuses me. Am I to assume that the common equipment is in the manufacturing/processing/
canning facility with the sauce?
Are the breadsticks & garlic Parmesan wings listed simply because they’re served with the sauce? Are the wings breaded alongside shrimp at the factory? Are the breadsticks marinated in butter beside lobster at the processing plant?
Are the pastas listed simply because they contain the sauce? But then, there’s the Alfredo… which is a wholly different kind of sauce. Are the noodles the culprit? I must say that the whole thing has me befuddled.
Basically, you’re telling me that if I’m allergic to shellfish… I might want to avoid everything that contains pizza sauce …from a place called Pizza Hut?
Also, the text from the bottom may require a little clarification…
The allergen information displayed on this site is based on standard product formulations and is current as of March 2009. Variations may occur due to differences in suppliers, ingredient substitutions, recipe revisions, and/or product production at the restaurant.
Anchovies (Fish) are offered in many Pizza Hut restaurants. Shrimp (Shellfish) is offered in a very limited number of Pizza Hut restaurants. Customers with concerns should contact their restaurant directly to determine if these ingredients are handled in the restaurant.
Huh? How is one to be made aware if there are different circumstances regarding suppliers, ingredient substitutions, revisions, or product production? I’ve never had a hostess seat me, list the specials, then divulge any information about new suppliers, possible substitutions, or about new preparation methods. I’ve never seen it written on a dry-erase board inside the door, or in a menu insert. How am I supposed to be sure that Pizza Hut isn’t going to inadvertently send me into Anaphylactic shock?
Does the second line about shrimp make all the above listed possible concerns no longer a concern… or is that in addition to already existing concerns?
Please, don’t take my questions as lashing out at you personally, but really… can you understand the frustration I have at learning of these menacing shellfish issues? Certainly you can appreciate the humor of having to go to Pizza Hut only to avoid pizza sauce? Perhaps the allergen information page needs updated and clarified?
I realize that I am sending a lot of questions your way at once. I would like to thank you in advance for your time and I hope that you will give all of my concerns some serious contemplation, and perhaps pass it on to others at Pizza Hut or Yum! Brands for their additional input.
According to the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Alliance website, “Approximately 12 million Americans suffer from food allergy. Food-induced anaphylaxis is believed to cause 50,000 emergency room visits and about 150 deaths annually.” I really don’t want to be one of those 150, or even one of the 50,000 any time soon… but I would like to be able to enjoy some fantastic pizza (without the aforementioned disastrous after-effects).
I look forward to your thoughts!
I really hope to get an actual response with some clarification. It is worded/displayed in a goofy manner, don’t you think?