ASK SCARLET: My coworker has a seafood allergy. She says she can’t even smell it. Anything from fresh fish to seafood. It’s annoying. I already go out of my way to remember to not bring fish to work. But it’s annoying because that is my preferred meat of choice. We are having lunch meals catered. To cut costs, they are ordering individual meals from Beans and Cornbread. Menu was originally fried chicken, meat loaf, perch or veggie option. I opted for fish as well as a few other colleagues. We received an email later saying fish is no longer available and replaced with pork chops because of this colleagues allergy. Am I being I sensitive? What’s proper etiquette? I’m irritated. So I can never eat fish at work cause 1 person can’t smell it? Lol! – Irritated Co-Worker
SCARLET SAYS: It’s always tough when one of our colleagues is affected by something that others aren’t. In summary, the nice thing to do is to avoid fish in the office, which you’ve been doing. If the tables were turned, it would be expected that she would do the same for you. But, since you both share space, the ownest cannot just be on everyone except for the person directly affected. I recall a time encountering a woman who wore a mask in the office when it was popcorn day, since she was allergic. While a mask could be perceived as “over the top”, something should be done on both ends to ensure that she is comfortable in the office, but that everyone else is comfortable as well. If it’s a one-sided situation, I’d certainly think something was fishy about it… (couldn’t resist) – Scarlet
One thought on “ASK SCARLET: “My co-workers food allergies conflict with my food preferences…””
Airborne food allergies are the most severe. My advice is to educate yourself on food allergies. Smelling fish or seafood will not just be offensive to her or make her sick … It will cause a serious anaphylactic reaction requiring a trip to the ER and could potentially cause death. I would think that you would be happy to avoid eating an item that would cause a coworker to go to the hospital.