Author Topic: Olive Garden Msg reaction  (Read 16747 times)

Offline Gram

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Olive Garden Msg reaction
« on: October 10, 2010, 04:35:43 pm »
My husband and I both have reactions to MSG.  We hardly ever eat out anymore, but last Friday for our anniversary we went to Olive Garden and we ordered chicken parmigian.  We both had headaches and overall weakness.  We are guessing that the chiken must have had the MSG.  I had read somewhere that Olive Garden didn't use MSG except in their soups.  Have others experienced this?

Offline misfitguy

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2010, 06:30:46 pm »
Whoa, that is horrible news.

My wife, Sassafras and the administrator of the Misfit City Forum, is terribly allergic to MSG and all its derivatives.  Olive Gardens has been a safe haven for us in the past.  I just read your post to my wife and she said, "Well, then, I guess we'll have to go there and order the Chicken parmigian."  She can tell within minutes, usually, if there is any MSG in the food. We have learned that when ordering chicken, we ask that the chicken be an actual breast of chicken and not a chicken strip or other processed piece of chicken.  

By the way, since we live on the road for months at a time and depend on restaurant food much of the time, one simply has to learn to ask the right questions to assure that they will have an msg free meal.  My wife has made up a card that lists many of the ingredients that the food industry uses to hide the fact they are using msg.  If you would like a copy of one in a pocket or wallet size for free, simply email us at saynotomsg@yahoo.com include a mailing address (we have been getting requests with no address) and we will gladly send you one. Or you can go to http://www.saynotomsg.com/basics_list.php , copy the list to a word document and print it.  We did this for years and used it while shopping.  The card, though, is much handier.  Our only request for those interested in a Laminated Pocket Card is to join our Forum.  Joining is free!!

warmly,

Mick
« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 09:42:20 am by Sassafras »
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Offline Sassafras

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2010, 12:02:43 am »
Gram,

Sorry to hear about your and your husband's MSG reactions.  And I am really sorry to hear that you suspect it came from Olive Garden.  This is very disheartening news because, as Mick stated earlier, I react to MSG severely.  Olive Garden is the only chain restaurant that I consider safe (except for their soups, as you already know).

Chicken Parmesan.  The only thing that I can think that might be the culprit here is the amount of Parmesan.  The different websites that I have read say that Parmesan has a very high amount of Glutamate, or Free Glutamate, depending on the website.  I have Parmesan on my salad and entries, but this is in moderation, not an entire dish.  It's different than tomatoes or mushroom because they are "nature grown".  All cheeses are processed in some way.  And anytime man has the chance to dabble with the process of anything, that item has the chance of containing un-natural Glutamates.  I also wonder if the recipe for Olive Garden's Chicken Parmesan calls for other cheeses - especially by-product cheeses.  I have noticed lasagna recipes throughout the internet calling for cheeses that are in fact cheese by-products.  These items are not guaranteed MSG reaction getters according to known websites, but the processing for these items calls for hydrolysis and autolysis which are red flags to any MSG sufferer.

I know this, when Mick and I go to Olive Garden, I'll get the Chicken Parmesan.  It will be interesting to find out if I react to it.  I will also do more research on the internet in the meantime.

Also, what Olive Garden's did you and your husband visit?  It might be interesting to find out if the Olive Garden's is chain-owned or independently-owned.

I hope our replies are helpful and I look forward to hearing from you.
_____________
Just Me

Sass


BTW...
I have had a few waiters and waitresses share with me some backroom secrets.  They have told me that the base for their salad dressing is Newman's Own.  I do have their salads and I am not shy about getting that last olive in the bottom of the bowl.  So far, I have not reacted to the dressing.  On their website, the only ingredient in the Caesar Dressing that sends up any flags is Xanthan Gum.  This ingredient is on the "sometimes" list.  In dressing or maybe even hot chocolate, there might not be a reaction.  For me, it is when it is in toothpaste that I get a reaction.  That is where the "sometimes" fits into play.

Take care.

And...   W==(:D)== W==(:D)== W==(:D)==

 [welcome] to the City!!!


It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. ~~Baha'u'llah

The chief idols in the desecrated temple of mankind are none other than the triple gods of Nationalism, Racialism and Communism, at whose altars governments and peoples, whether democratic or totalitarian, at peace or at war, of the East or of the West, Christian or Islamic, are, in various forms and in different degrees, now worshiping. ~~Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come

Offline john2729

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2011, 02:33:05 pm »
I suffer from migraines from MSG. I recently visited Olive Garden with my family, I usually get the mixed grill which I never usually have a problem with.  Last night I ordered chicken gorganzolla and today I have a terrible migraine. I called Olive garden but they said they don't use MSG. I'm pretty sure it was the chicken gorganzolla after so many attacks you can usually pinpoint the cause.

Offline misfitguy

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2011, 05:40:50 pm »

John,

Welcome to the Misfit City Forum.  We are sorry to hear you had a bad experience at Olive Garden.  This is the one restaurant that Sassafras and I can eat at without her getting a reaction.  she normally orders the shrimp scampi and I order the chicken Marsala.  We share, so both dishes are safe.  We also eat a whole lot of salad with them normally filling the bowl a couple of times.

We went to the Olive Garden site and couldn't find the dish you ordered.  It must be very new.  We will email Olive Garden requesting ingredients and will report back here with their response.  How knowledgeable are you of all the different ingredients that can cause an MSG type reaction?  Go to http://www.saynotomsg.com/basics_list.php for a pretty complete list of most of the excitotoxins used by the food industry.

I would like to ask if you had a diet pop or a wine with the meal. Did you request a special dressing with your order? Also, what other things did you eat in the previous 12 hours before you ate at Olive Garden?  These are the questions we had to ask ourselves daily 12 years ago to be able to get a handle on what was causing Sassafras' reactions.

I hope you will continue to share with us.

warmly,

Mick
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Offline Sassafras

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2011, 06:02:50 pm »
I suffer from migraines from MSG. I recently visited Olive Garden with my family, I usually get the mixed grill which I never usually have a problem with.  Last night I ordered chicken gorganzolla and today I have a terrible migraine. I called Olive garden but they said they don't use MSG. I'm pretty sure it was the chicken gorganzolla after so many attacks you can usually pinpoint the cause.

John,

I would like to thank you, also, for joining MCF.    [welcome]

Mick brings ups some very good questions and I would like to add a question.  Does the Chicken Gorganzolla have a lot of Parmesan Cheese?  In my research, I have found that some websites claim Parmesan Cheese makes the list of foods that may cause reactions.  Though, when I eat at Olive Garden I get Parmesan Cheese added to my salad and entree with no side effects.  Since any cheese is processed, I would imagine eating a lot of it could cause reactions.  Gram, who started this thread, reacted to an entree heavy in Parmesan.  I haven't had this dish yet, so I can't say if I would react.

Thank you again for joining.

Warmly,

Sassafras


It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. ~~Baha'u'llah

The chief idols in the desecrated temple of mankind are none other than the triple gods of Nationalism, Racialism and Communism, at whose altars governments and peoples, whether democratic or totalitarian, at peace or at war, of the East or of the West, Christian or Islamic, are, in various forms and in different degrees, now worshiping. ~~Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come

Offline Sassafras

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2011, 06:16:00 pm »


This is a letter I sent via their own website to Olive Garden.  We wait expectantly for a reply

Mick

We have a forum called misfitcityforum.com  and have a section on MSG.  We have had a couple of posters that have complained of having reactions to your food, in spite of us stating that you do not use MSG except in your soups.  If you go to http://www.misfitcityforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=886.new#new You may read them yourself.  By the way, we are not sure which restaurant these events occurred.  Would you be willing to share the ingredients of a dish called Chicken Gorganzolla?  We could not find it on your website.

Please respond as we are still claiming your restaurant is the only chain restaurant that we know of that is safe for those suffering from MSG and other excitotoxins.

warmly and still loving your food,

Mick Zellar
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 06:19:53 pm by Sassafras »


It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. ~~Baha'u'llah

The chief idols in the desecrated temple of mankind are none other than the triple gods of Nationalism, Racialism and Communism, at whose altars governments and peoples, whether democratic or totalitarian, at peace or at war, of the East or of the West, Christian or Islamic, are, in various forms and in different degrees, now worshiping. ~~Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come

Offline Sassafras

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2011, 07:10:19 pm »
Mick and I have not got a reply from Olive Garden's yet, so I messaged them again.  The following is my request for answers:

I picked a location because I had to, so I picked the closest to me.

I am concerned about some of your entrees having MSG (monosodium glutamate)  or other excitotoxins.  These excitotoxins include Hydrolyzed Protein, Autolyzed Yeast, Sodium Caseinate, and Carrageenan. 

I have ate at Olive Garden's in the past and I have not had a reaction.  But, what has alarmed me is there are people that HAVE HAD reacts when eating some of the various entrees serviced.  Are there some entrees that are safe to eat and some I should stay away from during my next visit?

Any information would be helpful.

Warmly,
Sassafras


Hopefully this will elicit a response.

_____________
Just Me
 Sass


It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. ~~Baha'u'llah

The chief idols in the desecrated temple of mankind are none other than the triple gods of Nationalism, Racialism and Communism, at whose altars governments and peoples, whether democratic or totalitarian, at peace or at war, of the East or of the West, Christian or Islamic, are, in various forms and in different degrees, now worshiping. ~~Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come

Offline misfitguy

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2011, 07:49:15 am »

I sent two emails to Olive Garden without response.  Sassafras did finally get a response and hopefully she will share it with us.  Olive Garden has admitted to using hydrolyzed protein as a flavor enhancer in this email and warned her that because they outside sources for some of their dishes, they couldn't say for sure what dishes were safe for her.  She also found in her research that Olive Garden has contracted with a consulting company to increase the their profits.  One of the things they have done is to reduce the number of regional plants for the processing of foods.  This increases the time foods are on the shelf between processing and serving, which always causes the use of excitotoxins such as hydrolyzed vegetable proteins to mask the package and age tastes that occur with these sort of distribution/processing decisions. 

Mick
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"The world is one country and mankind is its citizens..."  Baha'u'llah

Offline Sassafras

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2011, 03:56:38 pm »
I received the long waited email from Olive Garden's on July 14, 2011 and Mick and I have slowed down enough for me to post it on the Forum.


Quote from Olive Garden's Guest Relations:

Dear Sassafras:

Thank you for taking the time to contact us at olivegarden.com.

Olive Garden does not add MSG to any food products. However, we cannot, with complete accuracy say that MSG is not added by our suppliers to any products we purchase. Additionally, our products may contain hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP). Hydrolyzed vegetable protein is used as a flavor enhancer and individuals who are sensitive to MSG may also react to HVP. Particularly when it comes to adverse or life-threatening reactions, we are unable to recommend any menu items with the assurances we both need. We empathize with the challenges presented to you when you weigh decisions regarding dining out.

If Guest Relations can be of further assistance, please write us again through olivegarden.com (www.olivegarden.com/company/contact_us/ ) or call us at 800-331-2729. We look forward to serving you with Hospitaliano at any of our Olive Garden restaurants.

Jibri
Olive Garden Guest Relations



I am not happy with this news.  I am actually a little peeved.  I have always liked the idea there was a restaurant out there that catered to everyone.  Now, Olive Garden's has fallen in line with other restaurants doing the MSG-laden two-step.  Yee-haw!!

The only thing I can offer to our readers is, if you eat at Olive Garden's you may get an MSG/excitotoxin reaction.


If you do take a chance and eat at Olive Garden's, then I ask that you please let other readers know what you had to eat and if you reacted to the meal.

My dish is Shrimp Scampi with Alfredo Sauce over Linguini or Angel Hair Pasta.  I have the salad before the meal.  I have reacted to the salads due to not removing the croutons.  My bad!!  My reactions are mild - a head rush before the main course.  I don't get migraines the next day so I know the Shrimp Scampi and the Alfredo is ok.  Now, if someone takes my advice and gets this dish, please let us know if you react.  People do react differently than others.  We have to stick together and help everyone out that we can.

Mick reminded me that I do eat some of his Chicken Marsala on Angel Hair Pasta.  I don't react to this dish either.  Again, if you eat this dish, please share your results.

Please share any other news or results you have about your Olive Garden experience.

I hope this information is helpful despite it's disheartening news.

___________
Just Me

Sass


It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. ~~Baha'u'llah

The chief idols in the desecrated temple of mankind are none other than the triple gods of Nationalism, Racialism and Communism, at whose altars governments and peoples, whether democratic or totalitarian, at peace or at war, of the East or of the West, Christian or Islamic, are, in various forms and in different degrees, now worshiping. ~~Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come

Offline tsth

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2011, 06:39:14 am »
Was doing a google search after my son had reaction last night...and came across your site.  He also had the Chicken Parmigiana and experienced tingling/numbness/dizziness/nausea/etc.   We were discussing low blood sugar as the cause until I remembered that we had MSG issues in my family and I started a web search this morning.  Just wanted to say that my son also mentioned that he has this reaction every time he eats at OG, and he always orders that particular dish...just thought I'd add to your forum with this info. as the other replies helped me to put together the pieces to solve his medical mystery.

Offline Sassafras

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2011, 07:25:47 pm »
Tsth,

Thank you for joining our Forum and posting about your son's MSG reactions.  Olive Garden has become a very disappointing place to eat.  I assume you read the response I received from Olive Garden.  It was really a "Buyer Beware" statement from them.  You may want to go to our website www.saynotomsg.com for more information concerning MSG and other excitotoxin allergies. You may also want to print a list we have compiled of ingredients that are replacing MSG but are as bad or worse.  You'll find it at http://www.saynotomsg.com/basics_list.php or http://www.misfitcityforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=220.0

We are traveling at the moment and a couple of days may pass before we respond to a post.  Please keep us updated with your son's travails and keep up the good fight.

Warmly,

Sassafras


It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. ~~Baha'u'llah

The chief idols in the desecrated temple of mankind are none other than the triple gods of Nationalism, Racialism and Communism, at whose altars governments and peoples, whether democratic or totalitarian, at peace or at war, of the East or of the West, Christian or Islamic, are, in various forms and in different degrees, now worshiping. ~~Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come

Offline avavavaa

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2012, 03:27:18 pm »
I got MSG reactions from Olive Garden too.
Two days ago, I went to Olive Garden for lunch and ordered 'seafood pasta with garlic butter and white wine sauce'
I also had salad before entree. I had mild allergy reaction after the meal but I didn't take it seriously. And last night,
I ate the left over togo food- seafood pasta and now I'm suffering so bad. I feel dizzy, keep sneezing and my nose keeps producing mucus. That's my reaction always whenever I eat MSG. I love seafood and pastas but so many restaurants use MSG as enhanced flavors. I'm so sad, I can't go to Olive garden anymore.

Offline Sassafras

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Re: Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2012, 03:46:31 pm »
Avavavaa,

Thank you so much for an update of another item in the Olive Garden menu.  I haven't visited OG for about a year because their use of Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP).  It is a shame, because it use to be such a safe restaurant, before they chose to go to the dark side.

________________
Thank you for joining the Forum.

Sass


It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. ~~Baha'u'llah

The chief idols in the desecrated temple of mankind are none other than the triple gods of Nationalism, Racialism and Communism, at whose altars governments and peoples, whether democratic or totalitarian, at peace or at war, of the East or of the West, Christian or Islamic, are, in various forms and in different degrees, now worshiping. ~~Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come

Offline truejeans

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Olive Garden Msg reaction
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2013, 02:33:06 am »
I've eaten at Olive Garden in the past & gotten the MSG migraine after being told they don't have MSG in their foods. Recently, I went to OG with friends, to celebrate someone's birthday, and very specifically asked for what item(s) were free of both MSG and Autolyzed Yeast Extract. The manager came to our table, talked to me about it and had the chef personally prepare me a meal using their gluten-free chicken breast, pasta and a freshly made marinara type sauce. The sauce wasn't spiced as much as the usual one, but I thankfully had NO reaction this time! :-)