Cosmo restaurant in Waddon demands medical records for child to attend birthday party

Croydon Guardian: Eight-year-old Lauryn Williams Lewis and her mum Coral Eight-year-old Lauryn Williams Lewis and her mum Coral

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.

Comments (5)

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3:05pm Thu 27 Dec 12

Hove Ex-Pat says...

This place seems to have a history of putting foot firmly in mouth ever since it opened.
This place seems to have a history of putting foot firmly in mouth ever since it opened. Hove Ex-Pat
  • Score: 0

8:27pm Thu 27 Dec 12

Racnipeels says...

It is the same everywhere serving food, The venue could get in lots of trouble if they do not stick to strict health and safety rules set to them.
Im sure if they contacted cosmo in advance something could have been arranged in regards to the menu.

That said Cosmo is going down hill fast.
It is the same everywhere serving food, The venue could get in lots of trouble if they do not stick to strict health and safety rules set to them. Im sure if they contacted cosmo in advance something could have been arranged in regards to the menu. That said Cosmo is going down hill fast. Racnipeels
  • Score: 0

2:58pm Fri 28 Dec 12

ANNE GILES says...

I shall definitely never eat there. Thanks for the tip.
I shall definitely never eat there. Thanks for the tip. ANNE GILES
  • Score: 0

7:34pm Fri 28 Dec 12

motomoto says...

I think that the least the resturant could do was waive the seating fee and let the child join in.....as for bringing their own food for the child the resturant should have excercised discretion and all this upset could have been avoided.........
I think that the least the resturant could do was waive the seating fee and let the child join in.....as for bringing their own food for the child the resturant should have excercised discretion and all this upset could have been avoided......... motomoto
  • Score: 0

10:13pm Fri 28 Dec 12

Crease2000 says...

Perhaps the mother could've phoned the restaurant beforehand to clarify their policy?
Perhaps the mother could've phoned the restaurant beforehand to clarify their policy? Crease2000
  • Score: 0

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