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Woman Swaps Out Her Roommate’s Food With Vegan, Ends Up Charged With A Felony
Food, People11 months ago

Woman Swaps Out Her Roommate’s Food With Vegan, Ends Up Charged With A Felony

If you’ve ever had a food allergy, you know how serious it may be. It occurs when the body’s immune system reacts to certain proteins in food, and the reactions may vary from hives and lip swelling to even life-threatening symptoms that may involve fatal respiratory problems and shock known as anaphylaxis.

But this story posted on r/AITA which started with one roommate’s allergy to soy products has many more layers to it. “The next day after she moved in, she cooked breakfast for us. I was surprised,” the author recounted the morning with her new vegan roommate named Erin. But it turned out that unbeknownst to Erin, the author was “deathly allergic to a few things,” and soy products were one of them.

“I start eating and everything tastes a little off. At this point, she does a “‘Ta da’ and smugly told us ‘I bet it tastes exactly like meat,’” the author said. As you can imagine, this didn’t go well. Not only did the author have to stay in a hospital for 2 days due to her allergic reaction, but she also filed a complaint to the police.

But this was far from the end of the story, so read on below to find out how it escalated. Let me just tell you it involves a degree of felony.

Image credits: Thomas Park (not an actual photo)

Food tampering laws and related consequences do vary from state to state. For instance, California law (Penal Code Section 347) states that anyone who knowingly adds poison or a harmful substance to any food, drink, medicine, or pharmaceutical product where another person could be harmed is guilty of a felony punishable by a prison sentence of two to five years. If the substance could cause death or great bodily injury to a person, an additional three years is added to the sentence.

According to the United States Department of Justice, Subsection (a) of 18 U.S.C. § 1365 “prohibits tampering or attempted tampering with any consumer product that affects interstate or foreign commerce, or with the labeling of, or the container for, such a product. The tampering must be done with reckless disregard for the risk that another person will be placed in danger of death or bodily injury. Furthermore, the tampering must be done under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the risk of death or bodily injury.”

Image credits: Olga Kononenko (not an actual photo)

However, we do not know whether this particular case involved food tampering and though the author of the post mentioned that “food tampering is a felony,” she didn’t explain how that related to the incident.
For anyone with a severe food allergy, consuming food with an allergen in it, even the smallest amounts of it, can be extremely dangerous. This may happen though the manufacturing process or during the food preparation process.

Image credits: Sandra Dempsey (not an actual photo)

When it comes to the author’s allergy, an allergy to soy, it is a common food allergy to soybean products. Often, soy allergy starts in infancy with reaction to soy-based infant formula. Although most children outgrow soy allergy, some carry the allergy into adulthood. Mild signs and symptoms of soy allergy include hives or itching in and around the mouth.

Even though a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) is rare with soy allergy, according to Mayo Clinic, it’s more likely to occur in people who also have asthma or who are allergic to other foods besides soy, such as peanuts. Anaphylaxis causes more extreme signs and symptoms, including: difficulty breathing, caused by throat swelling; shock, with a severe drop in blood pressure; rapid pulse; dizziness, lightheadedness or loss of consciousness.

The author clarified a couple of details to the commenters

Certain factors may put you at greater risk of developing a soy allergy, like family history. You’re at increased risk of allergy to soy or other foods if other allergies, such as hay fever, asthma, hives or eczema, are common in your family. Another common factor is age since soy allergy is most common in children, especially toddlers and infants. Other allergies may also put the person at risk of having soy allergy.

According to the Mayo Clinic, in some cases, people who are allergic to wheat, beans (legumes), milk or other foods can also have an allergic reaction to soy. Also, people who are allergic to soy may have test results showing allergy to other legumes, but may be able to eat them with no problem.

Some commenters thought that the author did the right thing

However, some thought the author acted like a jerk

And some people said that everyone was wrong in this situation

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Hey pandas, what do you think?
Pungent Sauce
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Roommate situation with deadly allergies and nobody tells the new girl? New girl sucks, but the lack of responsibility on all parties involved here is stupefying.

Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That is the reason I'm calling bs on this one. Anybody with anaphylaxis will tell cos their life depends on it.

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Mad Dragon
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

OP absolutely should have disclosed her allergies, no matter what the food was. My son has a life-threatening allergy to pineapple, and the very first thing he tells people when they invite him to have a meal is, “Just so you know, I have a very severe allergy to pineapple.” Before he sits down, he then reminds them of the allergy and asks about the ingredients of anything he’s not sure about. It may have saved his life one time when the host did not realize there was pineapple in the bottled sauce she used on the chicken; only discovering it when my son asked to read the ingredients off the bottle. Yes, roommate is the a**hole for pulling the bait-and-switch, but OP is responsible for informing anyone serving her food that she has an allergy that can kill her.

Cold Contagious
Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The thing I have the most problem with is the fact that someone believes fake bacon is real pork bacon 🥓 😐. I've seen it all and eaten tons of different brands and not one kind of fake bacon remotely looks like real pork bacon. It looks closer to begging strips for dogs, honestly. I have a hard time finding it believable that the OP didn't really question the authenticity of the meat based on looks alone, not to mention the smell is far different also. This is just nuts.

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Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As a vegetarian, I would have been furious if the roles were reversed and someone had tricked me into eating meat. I would never, ever lie to someone about food. It is an aboslute no-go (you never know who might have allergies or relgious reasons for not eating certain foods, especially 'unclean' meats like pig meat). Allergies aside, the new flatmate was absolutely in the wrong and suing for the medical costs seems reasonable. Having her charged with a felony is completely over the top though. Everyone is a bit stupid at that age and being sued would have been 'lesson' enough. A felony will ruin her for life. The authorn should have informed her of any allergies before having the new flatmate move in, and defintely before letting her into the kitchen. I accidently sent my flatmate to hospital at that age because I didn't wash-up a jar of pesto and left it in the sink once. Thankfully we weren't in the USA. Anything can happen with allergies! It was irresponsible not to be clear on tha

Community Member
11 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I totally agree with you. I have a severe allergy to camphor, which can be in medicines and cosmetics. I tell everybody I work with or live with that vicks vapor rub etc could be a hospital visit because I really want to avoid the experience. Most allergic people I know are pretty fast to put the info out there.

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