Grocery Store peanut bins / Help.

Posted on: Wed, 04/09/2003 - 6:36am
beansmama's picture
Joined: 10/03/2002 - 09:00

I'm not sure what to do here.

Last night, I went to the grocery store. I was walking down the produce isle when I noticed these huge barrel bins. Inside the got it...peanuts. Shelled peanuts, not in bags or anything...just out and about.

I found this very disconcerting. My daughter is only 21 months...and is *always* in a cart. But, what about those PA kids who aren't in a cart, and who aren't yet old enough to really know or understand this allergy. I've seen parents turn away from their kids for a split second...and the kid is off and running.

This isn't a store I normally shop at, but it's in a convenient location and once in a while I will go there.

I want to contact them and raise the topic of PA and inform them that they could be endangering their customers.

However, I'm very new to this....and don't exactly know what to say.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Posted on: Wed, 04/09/2003 - 6:41am
KarenD's picture
Joined: 01/11/2003 - 09:00

Hi there....
I just wanted to tell you here in Texas I have been in two different grocery stores and found the exact same thing. At one of them the bin is one foot away from the produce. It really upsets me to the point where I think there should be a law that says no peanuts, or nuts for that matter, can be in open containers (kind of like the open container law with alcohol [img][/img] ).

Posted on: Wed, 04/09/2003 - 6:54am
samirosenjacken's picture
Joined: 09/30/2002 - 09:00

You are in luck because I just tackled this!
Our local grocery store had peanuts in a barrel. I never thought to do anything about it but my friend nudged me to say something. The manager was NOT very friendly or helpful. He said to contact the store owner, which I did.
I wrote a letter to the owner of the store. Short but to the point. I basically told him I would either have to shop late at night w/o my kids or just choose a different store to shop in. He called my house the day he received the letter. He thanked me and said the peanuts were GONE! He said if I contacted him sooner, they would have been gone sooner!
I strongly suggest you find out who the owner is and contact that person. Simply explain about peanut allergies and the risks of people eating those peanuts throughout the store while they shop. Everything gets contaminated. You really can't take a PA person there if there is peanut dust everywhere!
Good luck to you! I hope you have the same good luck as I did!

Posted on: Wed, 04/09/2003 - 8:13am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

We have gone the other route... we avoid places that have the open bins of pn and/or the bulk pb dispenser (a device invented in HELL, if you ask me...), at least with our daughter. She understands that (even at nearly 4) I cannot ever allow her to be outside of the cart in a grocery store.
I will never shop in a place that has open pn anywhere near anything I would ever attempt to purchase (like in produce)- ours are in bulk bins, well past the produce section of the store, so I don't think it is a problem- we avoid the corner of the store where they are. I mentioned it to the bulk foods manager once when I saw them uncovered and in the open- something about my daughter being aerosol sensitive and gosh what a shame I won't be able to shop with her here.... he moved them to a covered bin- so complaining DOES work.
PS- You are right to be somewhat concerned if you know your child is on the sensitive side of things, though! My daughter's very first aerosol reaction happened while she sat in a shopping cart 10-15 feet (approx. 6-8 m) away from a peanut bulk bin which was being refilled with in-the-shell peanuts. I KNOW this rxn wasn't contact, at least! [img][/img]

Posted on: Wed, 04/09/2003 - 8:55am
river's picture
Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

In Ontario you will be hard pressed to find an open bin of peanuts in a grocery store. That's because so many parents of PA children have complained about it, and now most chains have policies in place for handling and storing highly allergenic foods especially peanuts. I know because I was one of those complainers.
Americans----you are supposed to be loud--- people who don't take no for an answer---so what's the deal here. Don't tell me we girlie Canadians are louder eh? [img][/img]

Posted on: Wed, 04/09/2003 - 10:21am
cathlina's picture
Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

This is one of my big pet peeves.
I complained to the state health department about it. I was told that right now the states are working with the FDA on cross-contamination and labeling issues in manufacturing plants.
Working on the grocery store issue could be coming later down the road but it might be years.
I bugged my local Wal-Mart about this...even wrote a letter to corporate and they now have only pre-packaged peanuts in their produce area.
I guess a letter writing campaign is in order to the FDA so they start working on this issue.

Posted on: Wed, 04/09/2003 - 11:13pm
Nicole1401's picture
Joined: 12/27/2002 - 09:00

What gets me is that all of the open peanut bins I have seen are in the produce section so all of that peanut dust is settling on the fresh fruit--one of the safe foods for PA people. Yes, I wash my fruit before I eat it, but I prefer having peanuts not ever have been in direct contact with the food I feed my PA dd. Call me crazy!

Posted on: Thu, 04/10/2003 - 12:24am
steph626's picture
Joined: 02/20/2003 - 09:00

I'm in NC, and used to shop at the Harris Teeter grocery stores often. Now I only shop there for non-produce items--nuts and peanuts are out in the open everywhere in the produce dept, and also the baking goods aisle (filled with bulk bins of nuts--I walked right through a spilled pile of cashews on the floor one night and was a bit freaked out). The last straw was the bags of pine nuts displayed right on top/against the bags of lettuce (I know it's all packaged, but still....). When I asked the store manager about it, he said he couldn't change the arrangement because they sell better that way. I now shop at Lowes Foods for produce--all the nuts/peanuts are stored together in one location away from rest of the produce (at least at my local store, anyway). I'm glad to see I'm not the only one frustrated by this issue!!

Posted on: Thu, 04/10/2003 - 12:33am
mtal's picture
Joined: 04/11/2001 - 09:00

A while back I posted a letter titled A Long Grocery Store Letter under the Take Action thread. Please feel free to use it or change it to send to your grocery store. I had some good replies from stores and others ignored it. It's worth a try!!!

Posted on: Thu, 04/10/2003 - 2:35am
jeancbpugh's picture
Joined: 03/17/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by beansmama:
Last night, I went to the grocery store. I was walking down the produce isle when I noticed these huge barrel bins. Inside the got it...peanuts.
In my local Dominick's store two months ago, I grabbed a canteloup from a bin and found the bottom of the bin was full of peanut shells. The bin had previously been used for bulk peanuts, and was later filled with melons without being cleaned out first.
I was literally too upset to talk to the manager at the time. It took me over a month to calm down enough to go in and talk to them. I felt so blindsided.
I need to write a letter to the local store and to Safeway (owner of Dominick's).
mom to 3-year-old with PA

Posted on: Thu, 04/10/2003 - 3:15am
KarenD's picture
Joined: 01/11/2003 - 09:00

I wish I had the option to avoid these stores, but due to all of ds's other food allergies this is not an option, as these are the stores that carry his specialty foods. One of the stores is HEB's Central produce in town too! I think I will be writing a letter also.



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