Vegan is ‘traumatized for life’ after bakery gave her pork roll

(FILE PHOTO by video screenshot)

Would you be angry if you were fed something that wasn’t actually what it was supposed to be? What about traumatized — would you be traumatized if that happened to you?

If not, then you must not be Sharleen Ndungu, a 20-year-old British YouTuber and self-avowed vegan who reportedly burst into tears after the staff at a popular bakery accidentally fed her a pork sausage roll versus the vegan alternative that she’d ordered.

“I haven’t had meat in two years. My belly started hurting and my heart started going crazy,” she reportedly said in a since-deleted Twitter video after tasting the roll from the bakery Greggs.

“I was panicking because that only happens when I consume meat — this doesn’t happen when I have other food. I’m traumatized for life now — I’m never going to Greggs again,” she said.

A review of Greggs’ website shows that it does indeed sell both a standard “Sausage Roll” and a “Vegan Sausage Roll” alternative:

(Source: Greggs)

“My body is poisoned for life now, you know,” she reportedly added.

According to the New York Post, after realizing that her roll contained meat, Ndungu returned to the bakery to complain but was offered a measly $2 refund.

“The unsatisfied woman then called the bakery’s customer service hotline and she was instead offered a $36 voucher, but that too was not good enough for Ndungu who wanted an apology,” the Post revealed Friday, citing reports from various British media outlets.

“I was asking for a public apology to make people aware that they should watch out for things like this,” she reportedly said in one of three since-deleted Twitter videos she’d posted.

“People can be allergic to pork and potentially die from such a stupid mistake. It’s my choice not to consume meat because it causes cancer. That choice has been taken away from me,” she added.

Greggs has for its part reportedly apologized for the error.

“We have apologized to the customer for this incident. We’ve taken great care to try and prevent this from happening and are investigating to ensure this situation can be avoided in the future,” a spokesperson said to the British media.

According to reports, this too wasn’t enough.

“If I was allergic to pork or any of the ingredients that were inside that dirty sausage, I literally could have died,” she reportedly said. “Some people, namely meat eaters, might think I’m over-exaggerating but I could have died.”

The response to this event has been mixed. Some have boasted the age-old maxim “buyer beware” as a reminder that it’s on the consumer/customer to ensure that the product he or she is purchasing is legitimate:

There’s a recently discovered disorder known as alpha-gal syndrome, and it’s essentially an allergy to “red meat.”

“Alpha-gal syndrome is a recently identified type of food allergy to red meat,” the Mayo Clinic notes. “In the United States, the condition most often begins when a Lone Star tick bite transmits a sugar molecule called alpha-gal into the body. In some people, this triggers an immune system reaction that later produces mild to severe allergic reactions when they eat red meat.”

“Researchers now believe that some people who have frequent, unexplained anaphylactic reactions — and who test negative for other food allergies — may be affected by alpha-gal syndrome. There’s no treatment other than avoiding red meat,” their report adds.

One of the symptoms is anaphylaxis, described by the clinic as “a severe, potentially deadly allergic reaction that restricts breathing.”

The problem is that doesn’t apply to Ndungu, given as she doesn’t suffer from alpha-gal syndrome. This, therefore, raises the question, as noted by social media users, of why she would be “traumatized” and act so petulant over Greggs’ bad but arguably not unforgivable mistake.

But again, to be fair to Ndungu, she could have indeed died had she boasted a meat allergy. And this is a legitimate problem in the food business, her clear-cut snowflake tendencies notwithstanding.

“Food allergies affect an estimated 15 million persons in the United States and are responsible for approximately 30,000 emergency department visits and 150–200 deaths each year,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note. “Nearly half of fatal food allergy reactions over a 13-year period were caused by food from a restaurant or other foodservice establishment.”

Was Ndungu’s reaction over the top? Probably.

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Vivek Saxena

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