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Thoughts on Peanut Allergies

For the second time in a week, I have been unable to buy peanut-free cookies from a bakery. This time, it was Cakes & Ale in Decatur. Given their high standards, I was disappointed.

Based on what I have read, peanut allergies are much more common than they were a generation ago. And these allergies can easily be fatal. When some allergic people eats a peanut, they immediately start to turn red and swell all over their bodies, including their throats. They can suffocate within a few minutes without treatment.

As a peanut lover and genetic Southerner, I hope that peanuts are not banished from menus everywhere. But that is precisely why I think that it is high time for bakeries and restaurants to be more careful with peanuts. If we have to eliminate peanuts from food service in order to protect people, I would be the first to support that move. But it seems to me that some simple steps and perhaps a little extra equipment should go a long way toward keeping patrons safe. Many restaurants are careful with their gluten-free items, which is a critical concern for many people. Let's try to apply those same lessons to peanut handling.

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