Peanut Allergy Warning At El Jardin Fiestas Enchilada

I posted this in lines when we were in Disney World but I wanted to make sure others were aware too. My daughter ate the enchilada from El Jardin Fiestas booth at flower and garden in Epcot and had an allergic reaction. The enchilada had a mole negro sauce on top. Which is apparently made with peanuts. There was nothing on the sign out front and I had no idea peanuts could be in a sauce like that. The hives started small but Benadryl did not help and after an hour or so they were rapidly spreading. The nurse at First Aid did not think she needed an epi pen because her breathing was not being affected. The hives continued to spread and were getting larger. We decided to take her to the hospital. She was taken from Epcot by ambulance to the hospital and the EMT’s gave her the epi pen in the ambulance on the way there. The whole thing was very scary. We have known she was allergic since she was one but she has never had a reaction before and never had to use the epi pen.


What a terrifying experience! I hope she’s recovered.


A mole sauce, by definition, has nuts in it, apparently.

My son had a similar experience…he ordered something with mole sauce not realizing it had peanuts. But if you look up pretty much any mole sauce recipe, it will contain peanuts and/or other nuts.


I am so sorry. As a mom of peanut allergic son this is a nightmare.

Had you mentioned the allergy?

I’m so sorry you had that experience. We are a food allergy family, too. I am glad it sounds like your daughter is okay but wanted to share our own experience (10 years and two allergy kids) that often general practice medical professionals (ER etc) will give advice that contradicts that of our allergist and the standard allergy action plan from FARE (not saying that is what your doctor advises for your child but it’s such a common action plan I’m cringing at the advice first aid gave you). In other words, I often find I know more about allergic reactions and the various ways they can present that qualify as serious, than a lot of the general practitioners.

Of course trust your own family’s doctors’ advice more than from me a stranger on the Internet. I am mostly sharing this so that families new to allergies (and perhaps their loved ones who may be vacationing with them and not in the day to day of allergies) know that sometimes ER or in your case first aid etc professionals do not know in depth about all types of allergies and the way they present, like your allergist or pediatrician might. They probably run across the classic reactions most. (Please don’t take this as criticism of ER etc professionals, who know way more than I do about most things. I’m just contrasting their knowledge compared to a specialist like an allergist or even pediatrician, in this area, in my experience. Specialists are immersed in the often changing research and see many more allergy patients and the variety they present, is all I mean. Emergency professionals are crucial but they can’t go as deep in every area, is all I mean.)

For the benefit of others I’ll paste the general FARE action plan here that explains breathing does not at all have to be part of the reaction for it to be anaphylaxis requiring an epipen.

ETA: We had some panicked debate the first and only time I gave an epi to my son. I have to say that doing it the first time felt very daunting, like a bridge I did not want to cross/admit was necessary. Seeing how it helped him immediately and he was absolutely fine later that day, I hope I would not hesitate as much mentally the next time. I hope as a silver lining to this is that you also might feel reassured from seeing your child recover that it’s not as big a deal as maybe you thought to give the epi. If I can do it, you can do it! It is so scary and traumatic to see those reactions progress though, you have all my empathy.


Oh my gosh, so sorry that happened! Must have been awful.

For the future: if you didn’t know, you can always ask to see the allergy binders at at any QS or booth to double check. We check them all, even the “obvious” ones that should be safe.

At booths especially we find the CMs often do not always have useful knowledge on allergens. They seem to rotate between various locations or something.

You absolutely made the right choice heading to the hospital!
We’ve always been told by our pediatric allergist: when in doubt use the Epi - we’ve found school and other nurses way too timid on that and have had to have the doctor write specifically his instructions if something happened at school.


The EMT’s were even back and forth about giving the epi pen in the ambulance. It did help the hives and she threw up after which made her feel better too. I talked to her allergist here at home and she agreed with the EMT’s giving the epi pen. Not to say I disagreed but there was some real back and forth going on as to if she needed it or not.

She did not ask about the allergens in the enchilada. She was walking around World Showcase with her Sister while we had dinner. She was 16 at the time and turned 17 the next day. Trip was to celebrate the Birthday! I am still shocked that Disney did not have the allergen posted on the sign especially with how good they are with allergies in general.


I’m still absorbing this. This is hard to hear as a parent. I’m so glad you went in the ambulance. I’m sorry it messed up for EP day, too. I know how hard we work to make trips happen.

I’m so glad she’s ok. :heart:

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Thank you!

Very scary. I’m glad it worked out, but OMG :scream:! I guess I need to make sure I see the binder when ordering at booths. I am not sure I would have known that mole has nuts or peanuts in it.

So, this reminds me of another instance with my son…I forget the exact situation, but ultimately he consumed something and decided he should give himself the Epi-Pen, which he did…then he went to the E.R. When he got there, the E.R. staff was ANNOYED with my son for having given himself an Epi-Pen because now they were forced to monitor him for a few hours.

We thought the whole thing was ridiculous. Of COURSE giving himself the Epi-Pen was the right thing. Just goes to show that even medical staff don’t always get it right. What is most important is teaching our children how to take ownership for their own food allergy and, ultimately, life! :slight_smile:

As hard as this situation was in this circumstance, there are likely great lessons being learned in this that your DD will benefit from going forward.


It has been a few years since we were at a festival - but I don’t recall them ever having dedicated allergen info on signs. They did have random gluten free and vegetarian symbols, but even that has gone away I think?

We had a discussion once with the manager CM of one EP food booth and he was super helpful - and also warned us even if there are “safe” things in a particular booth, there are plenty of cross-contamination possibilities in the booth system because of the small kitchen areas etc.
(He pretty much talked us out of most, if not all, EP booths forever that day.)

This old blog post kind of syncs up with our experience:

By the way - last year our allergist ran our kids through some new blood tests and with the updated methods he found that he thought our kids only had severe allergies to peanut and each with one or two other nuts at this time. Previously they both tested high on almost all nuts.

He suggested if they wanted to pursue things they could come in for some in office testing of the ones he did not think were allergens to solidify his findings. My son (18) is very up for trying it, but the pandemic and college has prevented us from getting back to do it. (We really need to get on that! Son is very shoot from the hip when it comes to asking questions and assuming things are safe, we’d love to know there are less dangerous foods out there for him.)

My daughter (15) has always been VERY much more conservative with foods and at this point is not willing to even try any challenge tests - would rather continue avoiding everything. Which is fine, of course. She’s a smart cookie and if anything, is too cautious sometimes. But as a parent, I’ll take that tactic anytime. :wink:

Here’s hoping as time progresses, these tests continue to get more accurate!


The allergy binders at the food booths are great. Sometimes, in the past, CMs have been very cagey about handing it over…and are like - I’ll look through it for you. I always insist on looking through it myself. I’ll trust the chefs at the restaurants, but I will not trust the CMs working the counters in the booths. My allergy isn’t deadly, but it is an uncommon one and it will ruin my trip.

So glad your daughter is ok @Tstar821 - I’m sorry you had to take an ambulance ride!


I said this on chat at the time but I am so glad your daughter is ok. So scary!!

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My allergies are not life-threatening right now, but they totally could be at any time. They will ruin a trip, though.

Maybe I should redo my tests. I’ll ask my allergist.


We have always had her avoid any tree nuts because she tested high with them and cross contamination. About five years ago the allergist said she could try some tree nuts in office but she didn’t want to do it at the time. Within the past few months she decided she did want to do the food challenge with tree nuts and she can now eat pretty much all of them. She regularly eats cashews and almonds now. They allergist has always told us she will not grow out of her peanut allergy.


That’s awesome.

Though not as exciting we were happy when DS could eat more beans. He had also been allergic to legumes as a kid.

They thought he may be able to now eat soy, but in office soy challenge with 0.2cc soy milk bought him a prednisone pack and Benadryl. :frowning::pleading_face:


This. I avoid anything with mole sauce on it.


I knew only because once I was considering San Angel Inn and was interested in a dish that had mole so I googled mole sauce and saw that it commonly enough has peanuts I avoid anything with mole sauce.

As a rule the festival booths only list “gluten-friendly” and “plant based” and are not really considered allergy friendly because there is no special preparation area for the foods so cross-contamination is a real possibility. (They won’t say “gluten-free” because there is a high risk of cross contamination, for example.)

For something life-threatening (thus far my peanut is not life threatening), I’d probably steer clear of the booths just to be safe - or google things you’re unfamiliar with (like mole sauce).


Good idea. I hate having allergies.