The owners of an Italian restaurant in Shifnal have apologised for comments made on Facebook that suggested a dish served to a vegan customer had been “spiked”.
Complaints were made to Shropshire Council after Carlini restaurant’s co-owner and chef, Laura Goodman, reportedly wrote: “Pious, judgmental vegan (who I spent all day cooking for) has gone to bed, still believing she’s a vegan.”
In a separate post, also written on 30 December, she had written: “Spiked a vegan a few hours ago.”
Speaking to the Shropshire Star Carlini co-owner Michael Gale apologised and insisted no meat had been added to meals.
He said his business partner had written the comments on a closed Facebook group after she prepared a vegan menu for a party, only for a pizza containing cheese to be ordered.
Gale told the Star: “We appreciate the outrage Laura’s ill-judged comment on social media has caused and would like to apologise for what it insinuated.”
He added: “We want to assure everyone that the meals were all prepared to our usual high standards and in accordance with the Food Standards Agency. No meat was used in any of the dishes.”
Shropshire Council’s regulatory services yesterday confirmed it had launched an investigation after receiving complaints.
After the posts appeared in media reports TripAdvisor and Google pages for Carlini’s branches in Shifnal and Albrighton received dozens of one star ratings.
One Google review read: “To boast on social media about her deliberate contamination of food shows a distinct lack of professionalism and judgment on her behalf.
“People are vegan for many different reasons. Whatever these customers’ choices are, she did not have the right to interfere with them.
“On another worrying note, there are many people who are vegan for allergy reasons and if that had been the case she could have caused the customer to go into anaphylactic shock.”
Since the posts came to light this weekend, there have also been calls for the restaurant to be shut down with reports made to official bodies.
A spokesperson for the Food Standard Agency said: “People should be confident about the food they buy and be able to choose according to their particular requirements, whether for diet and health or for personal taste and preference reasons.
“The description, advertising or presentation of food must not mislead consumers.
“If someone is concerned about being sold food which has been falsely labelled or the information about the food does not properly describe it, they can report it to the business’s local authority.”
The restaurant’s Facebook page has since been removed and the owners have not responded to The Caterer’s requests for comment.
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