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Southwest Airlines Announces It Will No Longer Serve Peanuts

The Mighty logo The Mighty 7/11/2018 Ellen Stumbo

Southwest airplane © The Mighty Southwest Beginning August 1, 2018, Southwest Airlines, the airline known for serving peanuts during their flights, will no longer serve them and will instead offer pretzels.

Starting August 1, Southwest Airlines will no longer serve peanuts. Its decision follows an incident in March, where a Southwest Airlines employee served peanuts on a flight, causing a 9-year-old boy to have a severe allergic reaction. Flight attendants were made aware of the boy’s peanut allergy prior to the flight, but the attendant who served peanuts said she forgot.

Southwest, which is known for giving out peanuts on its flights, explained its decision in a statement:

As of August 1, Southwest Airlines will no longer serve peanuts onboard and will instead serve pretzels on all flights. This decision wasn’t made lightly, but in the interest of providing the best Hospitality and a welcoming and safe onboard environment for Customers with peanut or peanut-dust allergies, we felt it was the right thing to do.

The airline’s decision has gotten mixed reactions from the public. Some praised Southwest for taking steps to ensure the safety and well-being of those with peanut allergies. Others said they feel the new policy is unfair.

Most airlines have a policy of no peanuts on flights when passengers declare a peanut-allergy, which passengers have to prove with a letter from a doctor. However, some people refuse to refrain from eating peanuts on board, which could result in a deadly reaction for those with severe allergies.

Southwest will continue to let passengers with food allergies to pre-board the plane so they can wipe down seats and surrounding area for safety reasons. While the airline will not serve peanuts, it cannot control who brings peanut products onto its flights.

Mighty contributor, Lianne Mandelbaum, who runs the site The No Nut Traveler, told The Mighty she wants to see policies that are fair for people with food allergies. “Airlines are consistently inconsistent in the way they deal with food allergy passengers,” she told The Mighty. “Every flight is different and you never know what you will get.”

Mandelbaum also collects testimonies from families who’ve flown with food allergies and said several families with peanut allergies have not been allowed to board their plane or been asked to leave a flight. “A flight attendant went as far as following a family out the plane telling them they should not fly if their allergies were so severe,” she said.

While Mandelbaum and other advocates are celebrating Southwest’s new policy, she said she’d like to see them go a step further and offer auto-injectors. According to Mandelbaum, Southwest flights only have epinephrine vials in case of anaphylactic reactions. However, these vials can only be administered by physicians. Mandelbaum, along with Food Allergy Research and Education, worked on a bill that mandated planes carry auto-injectors. Unfortunately, the bill did not pass.

“People don’t understand how severe an allergy can get and that it can be potentially fatal,” she said. “Even with an Epipen, kids might not survive. These allergies can be fatal.”

Gallery: 35 surprising foods that are making your allergies worse (Eat This! Not That!) 35 Surprising Foods That Are Making Your Allergies Worse: Certain fruits, vegetables, and spices could be the culprits behind your worsening allergy symptoms. If you usually suffer from seasonal allergies, you’re not green to red, watery eyes, a stuffy nose, or an itchy throat. But did you know that eating certain foods can give you the same allergic reaction? This condition is called oral allergy syndrome (OAS), also known as pollen fruit syndrome (PFS).According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, OAS is a pollen-food syndrome caused by cross-reacting allergens in pollen and raw fruits, vegetables and some tree nuts. In other words, OAS occurs because the proteins found in some fruits, vegetables, spices, and legumes, are very similar to those in pollen.These proteins send mixed signals to your immune system and cause an allergic reaction or worsen existing symptoms. Unlike seasonal allergies, these food-related reactions can occur at any time of the year, and the type of reactions vary in people. That being said, if you consume these foods during allergy season, they could make your symptoms worse. Most foods that cause OAS are related to birch tree pollen, ragweed, and grass pollen allergies.Washing your produce thoroughly, cooking or heating your food, and peeling the skin off veggies and fruits are the best ways to eliminate the allergens. To help you identify what foods might be making your allergy symptoms worse, we listed the top 35 allergy-triggering foods. Study the list below and then check out these 22 Ways to Lose 2 Inches of Belly Fat in 2 Weeks! 35 Surprising Foods That Are Making Your Allergies Worse

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