Woman Says She Was Hospitalized After Coffee Shop Gave Her Wrong Milk

Plant-based milks have become a mainstream alternative to dairy over the past decade, as U.S. consumers have shown a growing interest in vegan or vegetarian diets. But one coffee shop customer has shocked her viewers with an account of what happened when one barista did not serve her the oat milk she requested.

TikTok user @r0gey, who goes by Rose, posted a video of herself with a swollen face in an apparent hospital room after her order went wrong. The clip has reached 1.6 million views.

"I asked for oat milk and received either almond or regular milk (not sure which), both of which I am deathly allergic to," Rose explained in the comment section.

She added in the caption that she needed an EpiPen, two Benadryl and two types of steroids to treat her allergic reaction.

An allergy to dairy is distinct from lactose intolerance, a condition in which people cannot digest the sugar (lactose) in milk. A person with a dairy allergy has an immune system that reacts against milk and other dairy products, leading to symptoms including hives, upset stomach, vomiting, bloody stools and even anaphylactic shock, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

Meanwhile, almond milk can trigger a reaction in people with allergies to tree nuts, one of the food allergens most commonly linked to anaphylaxis.

Rose posted a follow-up video, clarifying that she had been treated and was released from the hospital after four to five hours of being monitored.

Woman Says She Was Hospitalized Wrong Milk
A coffee shop customer said that she was hospitalized after her barista served her the wrong milk. Pictured, customers sitting inside a coffee shop. Robert Nickelsberg / Contributor/Archive Photos

But while many viewers were sympathetic to her horror story, others took the side of the barista who made a mistake.

"Imagine having severe allergies and expecting the world to accommodate and ensure [your] safety," one user wrote. "Sweetie these are [minimum] wage workers that deal [with] a**holes all day."

"If it's so deadly why take the chance," another person said. "Just eat at home [or] take a lunchbox."

But other commenters jumped to the customer's defense, arguing that she shouldn't be blamed for her allergy and all service workers should take precautions to avoid inadvertently sending someone to the hospital.

"Why is everyone defending the baristas?" one user asked. "I was one. Allergies are serious and should be taken seriously."

Rose responded to the backlash herself, saying that she paid 70 cents extra for the oat milk and was not "asking the world to accommodate" her.

She added that the coffee shop was a local business and she would continue to support them. "I understand that working in the service industry is very very hard," she said.

Newsweek reached out to Rose for comment.