A vegan student and her friends claim they were served dairy on a what was supposed to be a vegan pizza at a popular West Street restaurant.
Jessica Smith, an economy and finance student at The University of Sheffield, was out with members of the Yoga and Pilates committee for a meal at Bloo88 where they attempted to get their food cooked with vegan cheese which they had brought with them.
However, the restaurant refused, as serving staff said the cheese “smelt out the place last time”.
Ms Smith said: “I removed my order and sat and had to watch the rest of the group eat whilst going hungry, as the pizza without cheese was not worth my time, money or energy to consume.”
Although Ms Smith did not eat, she said that two fellow vegans ordered the vegan pizza anyway. They were later told that it had contained non-vegan cheese.
The group also claim that they spotted ham on one pizza, which the restaurant has denied.
Ms Smith added: “We all left feeling very disappointed, ripped off, betrayed, and treated like second class citizens, just because of our dietary requirements.”
Madeline Gray, a student and vegetarian in Sheffield, was shocked to hear this story. She said: “I’d be horrified if this happened to me or any of my friends. If they weren’t happy to accommodate vegans, they shouldn’t advertise as having vegan food on the menu.”
A statement from the restaurant said: “We would like to stress that there was no meat served on any vegan pizza and that the item in question was a mushroom. We do not, and have never served meat on a vegetarian or vegan pizza.
“Unfortunately, there was some cross contamination with the food which was a small amount of feta cheese being served on the top one of the vegan pizzas. We at Bloo88 take cross contamination extremely seriously and do everything we can to prevent this and as such we make kitchen checks twice a day.
“We were, and still are, extremely sorry for this, as some cross contamination did occur.”
A spokesman for Bloo88 said it removed the offending items off the bill and apologised to the customers.
Rachel, a vegan of five years, said: “I expect Bloo88 to stop cross contamination, which could be seriously dangerous for someone with an anaphylactic allergy. As a vegan of five years I would be really upset if I had been fed meat without my knowledge.”
The review of Bloo88 was shared on a ‘Sheffield Vegans and Vegetarians’ Facebook page with over 5.6K members. The post received 92 shocked comments from vegans and vegetarians from around Sheffield.