Author Topic: Panda Express  (Read 9729 times)

Offline misfitguy

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Panda Express
« on: March 24, 2011, 07:33:13 AM »

Sassafras and I attended the ASD (product wholesale) convention in Las Vegas the last couple of days in February and the first few days of March of this year.  We arrived late to the motel and was tired and hungry from traveling.  We found that there was a Panda Express a couple of blocks from the hotel and since we had ate at one in different parts of the country a couple of times, and they proudly display a "No MSG" sign on their buffet, we decided to go there for supper.  Sassafras had some Orange Chicken, Mushroom Chicken and a spicy Chicken.  In the morning she woke up sick, with a headache and throwing up.  She continued with symptoms throughout the day and finally in the evening she was able to hold down some tea and dry toast.  What a wonderful way to spend our first day ever in Las Vegas.  In spite of the disclaimer that Panda Express posts in their store, No MSG, after this episode, we didn't believe them.

I went to their website and used their form to ask some specific questions.  Unfortunately I didn't keep a copy of the letter I sent.  I did, though specifically ask if they used products such as hydrolyzed protein, autolyzed yeast, and maltodextrin to name a few.  I was adamant how important it was they share exactly what ingredients they used in the food that was prepared for the stores and not whether the stores themselves added MSG. 

I received two emails from Panda Express within 24 hours.  The first one was an email offering to put me on an email list for special offers.  Here is part of it,

"Thank you for your interest in Panda Express! Please take a moment and click here to confirm your email address. Once you are confirmed, you will be able to receive news, product announcements, and special offers from Panda Express."

The second I will copy completely. I received it on Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 at 9:30 PM

Greetings MICK ZELLAR,

Thank you for your comments and suggestions. A Panda Guest Relations Representative will be responding to your e-mail within the next 72 hours. If you would like to speak to someone during our business hours, you may contact us at 800-877-8988.

Monday - Friday -- 8:00 am to 7:00 pm (Pacific time)
Saturday -- 9:00 am to 5:30 pm (Pacific time)

You may receive an automated email survey asking for feedback on your experience with Guest Relations.

Panda Restaurant Group, Inc.
P.O. Box 1159
Rosemead, CA 91770 r



On March 11th, two weeks after they claimed they would contact me within 72 hours, I finally received a phone call from a Panda Express representative.  This lady quickly admitted to Panda Express using autolyzed yeast and maltodextrin and started to say hydrolyzed protein but stopped herself for whatever reason. 

Realizing that I was dealing with a customer service rep and not a chemist or a food expert or even some sort of upper management, I informed her that these ingredients create the same reactions as MSG and in fact many times they are worse.  I stated that by posting a sign that said No MSG there was an assumption that should be made that they are not using any excitotoxins, which obviously wasn't the case.  I explained I understood that she was limited in her job, but I wanted for her to carefully scribe our conversation down on whatever customer service form was in front of her at the moment and to add that I expected Panda Express to remove the No MSG signs from their stores.  I also explained that we had two web sites, this forum and also SayNoToMSG and that this incident, the company response, our conversation as well as my demand would be posted on both.  Lastly, I told her we would monitor Panda Expresses over the next 6 months to see if the signs are removed and if they weren't, a law suit with all the publicity expected would be started demanding they remove any claims of not using excitotoxins from their company propaganda. 

I also spent a little time educating this woman on the damage that excitotoxins does to everybody and, of course, the horrible reactions many people get from them.  We are now in a Panda Express watch.  If anybody that reads this kinows of a Panda Express that has removed their signage, please let us know.  Also, since I gave them 6 months, if anybody notices signage claiming No MSG after September of 2011 let us know.  We are going to pursue this until they either list the ingredients they use in the preparation of their food or they remove the NoMSG signs.

Keep up the good fight

Mick

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