One of the more controversial areas in current medicine, this subject is highly charged.
In the U.S. alone, peanut allergy causes 100 deaths and 15,000 emergency room visits a year.
To be the parent of a child who dies of an allergic reaction after eating something with peanuts in it – whether labeled or not – is to become forever afire.
This website is excellent, with very detailed information and multiple links to more specific areas of this very charged subject.
No one knows how common peanut allergy is; it can develop after many uneventful exposures and can disappear over time.
So sensitive can an individual be that there are reports of anaphylactic shock and death in highly susceptible individuals after smelling peanuts or peanut butter.
Last week, Arroyo Vista Elementary School in South Pasadena, California banned foods containing peanuts not only from its school cafeteria menu, but from its entire campus.
Yes, you read correctly: children are no longer allowed to bring peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches to school for lunch. School lunches, snacks, and classroom treats must be peanut-free.
Principal Julie Jennings, in a letter to parents, said the the new rules “may seem a bit extreme” and be “difficult to get used to,” but that it was necessary to protect the 20 students at the school (4% of the school population of 500) who suffer from the potentially life-threatening allergy.
School staff members have identified the allergic students and have been trained to inject EpiPen – which counteracts the reaction – if one should come into contact with peanuts.