The Sun first reported on the incident, which occurred in 2011 when 38-year-old Kristy Richardson dined at Jamie’s Italian in Porstmouth, U.K. Richardson has celiac disease — which is a condition where the immune system reacts to gluten (found in wheat and some other grains), thereby causing damage to the small intestine — and ordered non-gluten pasta.
The Telegraph reported that she asked three different staff members to make sure they served gluten-free pasta, but apparently she was still given regular pasta. As a result, she fell extremely ill with vomiting and nausea, according to news reports.
On top of that, she was on a transplant waiting list for a heart and lung, and had to be removed temporarily from it because she was so sick after eating the gluten, The Sun reported.
Ultimately, the restaurant pleaded guilty to “selling food not of the nature, substance or quality demanded by a purchaser,” the Telegraph reported.
In 2006, McDonald’s faced a similar lawsuit after it was found that their French fries had wheat and dairy in them, the Associated Press reported. That suit involved Debra Moffatt, an Illinois resident, who had celiac disease that was set off when she ate the gluten in the French fries.
“You cannot sell gluten-free french fries when they have gluten,” Thomas Pakenas, Moffatt’s lawyer, had told the AP.
But currently, it seems a great deal of restaurants are moving in a more helpful direction — last year, Domino’s pizza released a pie with a gluten-free crust. Nonetheless, the company ensured to emphasize that they don’t recommend those with full-on celiac illness eat it since it “cannot guarantee that many handcrafted pizza will likely be completely free through gluten, ” it said in the press release as reported by HuffPost Meals. However, it is actually a good option for people with milder gluten awareness, the company claimed.
Similarly, late last year, Dunkin’ Donuts started testing out some gluten-free products that are individually wrapped.