Cosmo restaurant in Waddon demands medical records for child to attend birthday party
One of the largest restaurants in the UK demanded an eight-year-old with allergies present her medical records - just to be allowed to sit with her friends while they ate at a birthday party.
Cosmo in Valley Park, Waddon, told Lauryn Williams Lewis she could not bring her own food to her cousin's party and would have to go without as 17 other partygoers tucked into grub.
She was left in tears when the restaurant's management said they would charge her the full £9 price of a meal to sits in one of its 800 seats unless she provided proof of her allergies.
Devastated Lauryn - who could die if she eats milk, egg, wheat or fish - instead missed her cousin Faraa's eleventh birthday party on Friday.
Her mum Coral said a manager at the 22,000 sq ft restaurant, which serves more than 300 dishes, had told her Lauryn could not bring her own food for health and safety reasons.
Coral said: "It is just totally unreasonable for them to exclude Lauryn. She has had a little cry about it.
"It is heartbreaking to see your daughter like that and not be able to do anything about it. She is devastated. I said I would do something special with her that day and buy her a treat."
Lauryn, who lives in Plumstead, suffers swelling, sweats and rashes if she eats any of the foods she is allergic to.
She refused to eat food for the first years of her life and had to survive off a special formula.
Now, she can only eat basic meals such as boiled rice and chicken and must carry an adrenaline injector in case her allergies flare up.
Coral said: "It is hard enough for her seeing other people being able to eat whatever they like without things like this. We have been to lots of restaurants that have cooked her something separately or let her eat her own food."
Director of the restuarant chain John Woo said he was surprised at what had been reported.
He said at the Cosmo chain adults who were not dining were made to sit in a separate part of its restaurant but that this policy did not apply to children.
It added that he was unable to tailor dishes to allergy sufferers' needs due to the number of people involved in cooking them.