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.

Posted on: Fri, 04/11/2003 - 4:55am
CorinneM1's picture
Joined: 06/20/2002 - 09:00

I would like to do the same. I am in the Midwest (Chicago) and shop at Dominicks. For now. I am considering not shopping there anylonger bc of many reasons, one being the large open containers of nuts next to the fresh fruits, which I purhase for our family.
If you happen to come across a name/address for the general office, would you post it here. I will do the same. I really hope some other chain would buy out Safeway. Our Dominicks has gone down the tubes in the last year. Its horrible.

Posted on: Sat, 04/12/2003 - 12:46am
Sandy's picture
Joined: 05/27/2002 - 09:00

I go right to the grocery manager, and he gets me fresh produce from the back of the store (still in boxes and unopened). They are very accomodation.

Posted on: Sat, 04/12/2003 - 3:42am
CVRTBB's picture
Joined: 11/23/2001 - 09:00

I have been through this with our local Wal Mart also [img][/img] I stood watching the peanut bin one night when I was alone and watched several different people sift the peanuts through their hands trying to decide if they wanted to buy some (I guess) then walking around and touching all the fruit! I got so angry at one man that I confronted him and asked him if he realized what he was doing could kill someone with a peanut allergy who unknowingly bought the fruit he was touching (I tried to be nice about it). The guy got really huffy with me. I walked away in tears. I have complained to the produce manager, store manager etc... They (the peanut bins) have not been out for a long time now... I'm not sure if the complaining did any good or if its because its not the season that they are normally out.
I still hesitate to buy any fresh fruits or veggies from there. I normally only buy it if its in bags. My son did have a reaction to the bins also... quite a long time ago we were in the fresh veggie section and my son yelled "Mommy, aren't these peanuts?" Oh no! We left and went straight home. By the time we got home he was covered in hives! (This was my first clue that they had open bins of peanuts!) The second incident with them was when I had to get a loaf of bread which is on the other side of the produce section in a corner and didn't see the pn shells on the floor and walked over them. I forgot to take my shoes off when I got home and my son was again covered in hives.
Not to mention all the times when we have arrived at Wal Mart and there have been vendors at the doors selling boiled peanuts with the odor about knocking you out [img][/img]
If they show up again (the bins) I plan to go to the top!

Posted on: Sat, 04/12/2003 - 3:45am
jeancbpugh's picture
Joined: 03/17/2001 - 09:00

Safeway, Inc. has owned Dominick's since 1998. I believe Safeway is now shopping Dominick's. I don't think Dominick's has been profitable for them and there have been labor disputes. If you want to go to the top:
Steven A. Burd
Safeway, Inc.
5918 Stoneridge Mall Road
Pleasanton, CA 94588-3229
mom to 3-year-old with PA

Posted on: Sat, 04/12/2003 - 3:52am
jeancbpugh's picture
Joined: 03/17/2001 - 09:00

And while I have the Value Line out , if anyone in the Chicagoland area wants to write to Jewel...
Jewel is owned by Albertsons, Inc.
Lawrence Johnston
Chairman and CEO
Albertsons, Inc.
250 Parkcenter Blvd.
Boise, Idaho 83726
mom to 3-year-old with PA

Posted on: Sat, 04/12/2003 - 4:18am
ajas_folks's picture
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

A couple of weeks ago our PA child had a reaction (at home) after touching some Roma tomatoes I'd bought at Raley's grocery store. The tomatoes were not yet washed. [Reno residents -- this was Raley's at Mayberry & Hunter Lake.] Yes, this Raley's has 1 open bin of peanuts, which has a "usual" spot in the produce section & so we just generally avoid the immediate area. BUT -- when I went back to the Raley's to re-examine the Roma tomato bin, I realized the bin had peanut shells & chaff in the bottom & so had probably been previously used for peanuts & then never cleaned. I'd already spoken to that Raley's manager about moving the peanut bin into the bulk foods aisle & he highly recommended I work with Raley's corporate on this problem -- he felt they would be receptive to a store-wide policy regarding peanut bins.
I intend to contact Raley's corporate, but am wondering if anyone else has already had any dealings with them on this subject & what was response?
Looking forward to the farmer's market & produce from trustworthy family & neighbors. Sigh.

Posted on: Mon, 08/29/2005 - 2:50am
robinlp's picture
Joined: 05/14/2002 - 09:00

Harris Teeter is offering open samples of peanuts on display this week in their grocery stores. Apparently peanuts and shells are ending up all over the floors. PLEASE join me in emailing them to complain about this!! THANKS:

Posted on: Mon, 08/29/2005 - 3:53am
qdebbie1's picture
Joined: 02/10/2005 - 09:00

Done, and I am going to forward this to the reporter of the fort mill times and see if they want to do an article.
I made nice with the media.

Posted on: Mon, 08/29/2005 - 4:10am
robinlp's picture
Joined: 05/14/2002 - 09:00

Thanks Debbie! I think especially w/ all the recent articles locally and w/ Meck going Peanut-free Harris Teeter should start to get w/ the program. I am so sick of them...even the cookies at the entrance of the store given to children have a peanut warning on them! I emailed them about this but once again got no response.

Posted on: Mon, 08/29/2005 - 5:06am
qdebbie1's picture
Joined: 02/10/2005 - 09:00

The reporter has been given the go ahead from her editor.
I've contacted both the local and corporate Harris Teeter and am
awaiting a call back. Should be interesting to hear what they have to
say. I'll keep you posted.
Jenny O.

Posted on: Mon, 08/29/2005 - 10:44pm
notnutty's picture
Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

This is the letter I wrote a few months ago. Peanut Bins are still in the store, but we are in discussions about it.
I am a customer in your STORE NAME in CITY NAME. I have been shopping in your store for a very long time. After shopping a few weeks ago, a serious problem came to my attention.
My son is 4 and allergic to peanuts. A peanut allergy is a fatal allergy. If he touches, inhales (particles from or the odor of peanuts) or eats a peanut he can die, very quickly. He carries a self-injectable form of epinephrine and an antihistamine to use if he is exposed to peanut. Once he uses this medication I must call 911 and have him treated at an emergency room.
You sell peanuts in a open container bulk bin. In the past this has not concerned me much because upon entering your store I would walk toward the bakery and around the open peanut bins. However, you changed the design of your produce department recently and now the open bin peanuts are located next to the bananas. This in itself is not a problem, except for the fact I was shopping the other day and saw bananas sitting in the peanut bin. A customer must have put them there after deciding not to purchase them. If I were to purchase those bananas (after they were moved back to the banana section) my son could have a life-threatening reaction.
I have noticed that other supermarkets store their bulk peanuts in plastic covered bins similar to the bins bulk candy is stored. This is a much safer option. Not only does it prevent cross-contamination, but it also ensures that the peanut dust and particles are contained to that area.
I know I carry the burden of personal responsibility for my son and I must always ascertain if a certain environment is safe for him. If I buy produce in your market and that produce is contaminated by the peanut dust and particles my son could die. Yes, I inspect and wash my produce before I feed it to my family but I cannot take that sort of chance with my son

Posted on: Tue, 08/30/2005 - 12:01am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

I've had luck in two different groceries here in Los Angeles by writing a letter and calling if I could. I spoke to the produce manager in one store and the peanuts were gone in one month.
I think if you go at it slowly and steadily it can easily happen.
I also made sure to send a letter to the local newspaper after I noticed the peanuts gone. I thanked the individual stores and introduced the topic of PA to whoever read the letter.
[This message has been edited by Peg541 (edited August 30, 2005).]

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