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Letter to local business

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By luvmyboys on Mon, 07-03-06, 01:55

I just wrote a 'complaint' letter to a local business that I thought I'd share in case someone else needs a place to start with a similar letter. I searched for letters here but had a hard time finding what I needed easily. Hopefully this will help someone else. Some background...we just moved and came home one day to find a 'welcome' basket on our porch. I opened it to find doggy biscuits made of peanut butter inside amongst a lot of paper ads and a sample of popcorn. The smell of 'dog' and peanut butter was overwhelming. I immediately called the company and let them have it. They tried to blame the company who puts the baskets together...yeah right...who provides the product?? Normally I am quiet but they were on the bad end of my bad day...I followed up with an email a week later. Here it is...

Dear Ms. xxx ,
I contacted your company on Monday to express my concerns after receiving a 'welcome basket' on my doorstep that included product from your company. Your product was made with peanuts. I am the mother of three young children, at least two of whom have life-threatening peanut and tree nut allergies. My concern is that I unsuspectingly brought this basket into my home and opened it up, at first
believing that it came from a neighbor (most of whom I have made aware of our allergies) and then believing it to be primarily advertisements after reading the tag. The aroma of peanut and dog food hit me
as I opened the package, taking me by surprise as I have not smelled peanuts in the 3 years since my oldest child's diagnosis.

This is a situation which could have ended in tragedy. Aerosolized peanut protein (protein in the air) can send an allergic person into anaphylactic shock, with the possibility for death. Also, we all know that young children tend to put things in their mouth that they shouldn't. This package was sitting on
my doorstep where I may not have seen it before my children since we enter through the garage. Ingestion most certainly would have resulted in anaphylactic shock. This would require immediate injection with epinephrine, a call to 911 and a trip to the emergency room where my children would receive steroids via IV an observation for a minimum of 4 hours, assuming they survived this long.

Before you dismiss my concerns as an isolated, individualized situation, consider that between 150 and 200 people each year die in this country because of a severe food allergy, many from peanut and tree nuts. There are 30,000 trips to the emergency room in the U.S. annually due to anaphylaxis. Approximately 1% of the population has a peanut allergy. The numbers of peanut allergic individuals is growing, particularly among children under 5. To quote from the doctor's letter which helped qualify my son for accommodations at school under the American Disabilites Act, " Avoidance of all contact with food allergens (i.e.peanut) is the only way to avoid a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction {for the peanut allergic}. This includes avoidance of ingestion, contact and inhalation of peanut protein

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By luvmyboys on Mon, 07-03-06, 02:20

Well would you believe I just got a very positive response to my email??? I am so happy that maybe I can serve some purpose to protect other children if my children have to suffer these allergies. Now how do we find a cure? hehehe. But really, what should I say? I want to thank her for her open mindedness and concern. I am impressed.

Dear XXX:

I am aware that you contacted us on Monday and spoke to my husband regarding the receipt of the new home owner gift basket, provided by the xxx Company. Please know that my husband discussed with me your legitimate health concerns and allergic dangers to your children if they ingest or are subjected to airborne proteins from peanuts.

Please know that we appreciate you calling this to our attention and regret that this happened. You have made us more aware of the potential harm that could have resulted, and we do sincerely apologize again (as my husband did in your phone conversation).

I immediately contacted the xxx group after your phone call to alert them and to tell them I will not be providing samples of my dog treats in the future.
Via separate e-mail, I have forwarded to xxx your written concerns and educational information you provided to us in your letter today.

Again, I apologize to you and I am thankful that their was no harm to your children and we appreciate your information.


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