Pizza Hut doesn't have any policies that would have prevented a Yukon boy from eating a hamburger patty at one of its locations, a spokesman for the company said Thursday.
Candi Smithson said she and her 2-year-old son, Preston, and four others were asked to leave a Muskogee Pizza Hut because they brought a McDonald's hamburger patty inside the store.
Preston has severe food allergies and can't eat most dairy products or pretty much anything with flour in it, Smithson said.
A McDonald's patty is one of the few fast-food items the boy can eat “because it doesn't have filler in it,” his mother said.
The boy's mother said the food was brought into the store inside a discreet carton.
“You want to be respectful of the other places you go into,” Smithson said. “And you don't want to tempt other kids with your McDonald's.”
But Smithson said a waitress noticed the outside food items and eventually a manager became involved. She said the manager asked her and the five others she was with to leave.
Pizza Hut company spokesman Chris Fuller said the company doesn't have any policies restricting outside food and drink in the chain's dining rooms.
“I'm not sure why the group was denied access,” Fuller said. “We are coordinating with the franchisee there to be sure they are aware of our policies.”
Smithson said she has yet to hear from Pizza Hut about the incident.
“I called a few times and they told me it could be up to three days before someone calls me back,” she said.
In addition to the lack of company policy, the mother said her son shouldn't have been kicked out of Pizza Hut because doing so was a violation of his legal rights.
Smithson claims that allergies that interfere with “major life activities,” such as eating, are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Marca Bristo, who helped craft the original Americans with Disabilities Act during the late 1980s, said that Smithson was right to be upset. She said a group of amendments to the act in 2008 broadened what are considered “major life activities.”
Eating was among those activities added to the list, Bristo said.
“I believe her situation is covered,” she said. “But that is just my opinion.”
Fuller declined to address whether the Muskogee store manager may have violated Preston's rights when the group was asked to leave.