May 9, 2009
Delta urged to stop offering peanuts
Dr. George Flinn, a physician and Tennessee county commissioner, is asking Delta airlines to stop serving peanuts on its flights formerly flown by Northwest.
Delta began serving peanuts in late March, when it substituted its snack, food and beverage offerings for those previously provided by Northwest.
It's been absolutely proven that if someone who is allergic to peanuts is exposed to peanuts, they're going to have anaphylaxis, he said.
This can cause trouble breathing, possibly even death.
Delta spokesman Anthony Black said the airline's policy is to create a buffer zone three rows in front and three rows behind a passenger with peanut allergy.
But Flinn said that's not good enough because some allergy patients can be affected by airborne peanut particles.
He said Northwest not only provided that, but the airline also would make courtesy announcements asking passengers not to break out their own peanut-based snacks while traveling on a flight with an allergic person.
He said his family has been forced to make alternative travel arrangements with his grandson since the snack offerings changed.
Peanut allergy is the most common cause of severe allergic reactions in the U.S. and it tends to be a lifelong allergy. Further, the entire family of an allergic individual usually changes their plans to keep that person safe, thereby making the market impact of food allergies three to four times greater than the 12 million patients, said Anne Munoz-Furlong, founder of the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.