Peanut Shells Everywhere

Posted on: Sat, 03/02/2002 - 2:02pm
Concerned's picture
Joined: 02/27/2002 - 09:00

My son is two years old and tested >100 on the rast cap test. Luckily he has never had a reaction to peanuts, we found out about his peanut allergy after a reaction to milk. I don't know what his reaction would be if he just came into contact with peanuts vs ingesting them.
I have seen alot of good advice here so I thought I would finally ask a question. Sorry if this is long.
My problem now is peanut shells (I don't know how big of a problem they are). Over the past couple of weeks I have been finding peanut shells in my yard, driveway and sidewalks(I even found one on my garage floor). Turned out the first neighbor I called was feeding the squirrels and said she would stop right away. Weeks later I am still finding shells. Fresh shells not old dirty dug-up ones. I looked at the neighbors yard and saw peanut shells. To make a long story short she said she hadn't gotten a chance to pick up the shells. They are now gone so I am waiting to see if the peanut shells are coming from another source.
My other concern is the grocery store.
-empty peanut shells on the floor and the shelves
-a child putting his arms in the loose peanut bin up to his elbows, picking up handfulls of peanuts then letting them fall down
- a women handpicking peanuts out of the bin and then picking through the fruit
- a meat cutter picking up a handfull of peanuts and eating them on his way over to a case of packaged frozen meats (don't know where those shells went)
Although I try to watch where I am walking I have stepped on empty peanut shells. I come home wash my shoes and vacumm the car carpet.
Between the shells in my yard and the grocery store it has been a bad couple of weeks. Do empty peanut shells pose a big threat? Am I overreacting?
Thanks for your opinions.

Posted on: Sun, 03/03/2002 - 2:33am
Sandra Y's picture
Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

Potentially they could be a problem. I see lots of peanut shells around, too. I live in an urban area and I can't visit everyone in a one-mile radius and ask them to stop putting out peanuts. The shells are in our yard, on the sidewalks, and even on our porch. My son is 6, so he knows not to touch them. Honestly, I don't worry about them. I just think it's one of those things beyond my control.
At the grocery store, I stay away from the aisles with nuts. My son stays in the grocery cart if he comes to the store with me. Anyone working in the store should be washing their hands before handling food. Fruit and any unpackaged foods can be contaminated with all kinds of things like e coli and salmonella, etc. It's important to wash those foods before eating them anyway. When our grocery store was putting peanuts too close to the fresh fruit, so peanuts were actually getting in with apples, I spoke to the produce manager and warned him about the danger. He had never heard of peanut allergy, which amazed me because he also said his wife manages a school lunch program and he'd never heard her say anything about it. Scary.
I think it's good to be aware, and take whatever reasonable measures you can, but I don't want to get paralyzed by potential dangers I really have no control over.

Posted on: Mon, 03/04/2002 - 6:54am
Gabrielle's picture
Joined: 05/23/2000 - 09:00

Dear COncerned,
I used to be really uptight about the grocery store, but now I realize that my son really isn't affected by the open bins of peanuts and shells on the floor. In our case he does fine at the grocery store, but he does not walk up to the peanut bin. I have realized that there are SOOO Many situations that we come across where kids are eatting peanut stuff around us.. (like recently at an ice show we went to..) but I have found that in most cases he is not affected. I am trying to relax a little and know that we always have his medicine with us, and most likely, he won't react to airborn fumes. Before, I let myself get so incredibly stressed about these surrounding possibilities, I dreaded going anywhere with him! Every child is different, but if your child has not had a reaction at the grocery so far, I would say these trace amounts may not be enough to effect him. (but always carry you meds just in case!)

Posted on: Mon, 03/04/2002 - 7:35am
jillsmom's picture
Joined: 02/11/2002 - 09:00

I try not to get too worked up about peanut shells on floors as long as I can avoid them. You just really have to be on the alert for these things all the time, and BE PREPARED with meds.
The thing that gets me is the restaurants that serve peanuts for people to snack on at the bar, and the peanut shells on those floors...people just don't get it. Also, at hockey games...I'm always on the alert, because I've gotten wheezy in those situations.

Posted on: Mon, 03/04/2002 - 8:52am
BENSMOM's picture
Joined: 05/20/2000 - 09:00

I too have a child who scored over 100 on CAP RAST and has never reacted. I waver back and forth between worrying that I'm too slack in what I allow, and feeling that if he hasn't reacted, then my comfort level is working. It's a strange situation to be in.

Posted on: Tue, 03/05/2002 - 1:42pm
Concerned's picture
Joined: 02/27/2002 - 09:00

Thanks for your input. I know as my son gets older and enters school there will be alot more challenges. Its comforting to know I can come here for first hand advice.

Posted on: Tue, 03/05/2002 - 10:02pm
hkymom's picture
Joined: 11/17/2001 - 09:00

What a great topic. We have all certainly run across this problem. My son plays hockey so of course we go to the flyers game. There are peanut shells everywhere. People just throw them on the floor when eating them. I have gone as far as to ask the people around me to refrain from eating them. I would brings handy wipes and clean his seat. People must think I am insane I am sure of that.
We were in Boston for a hockey tournament and we took the entire team to see Boston play Harvard at Boston college. My son and I were walking to our seats and I noticed a crushing under my feet. I looked down and we were surrounded in peanut shells. They were literally all over the floor. I told my son do not put his feet on the chair or touch them. When the game was over I washed his shoes. Sounds crazy I know, but he never came in direct contact so he has been fine. Would I let him go to a any kind of ball game without me. NEVER!! Peanut shells are a real problem.
I also have a problem with a local produce market. In the morning the girls at the register eat peanuts. I have asked them to rinse their hands before touching my produce. They act as if I am insane and give me very dirty looks. My solution, I spend my money elsewhere. They refuse to listen to an honest problem so I have given up.

Posted on: Wed, 03/06/2002 - 3:03am
wood145's picture
Joined: 09/10/2001 - 09:00

Hkymom: I will never understand why people who are working behind the counter or at cash registers would be allowed to eat anything, esp. something as messy as peanuts can be. I was at a deli and had ordered some cold cuts when I noticed the clerk take a piece of the cheese she was slicing for me and eat it. she then continued to slice. Needless to say I left before she was done! It's just a disgusting thing to have somebody eating while they are handling your food. yuk!

Posted on: Fri, 03/08/2002 - 11:25pm
hkymom's picture
Joined: 11/17/2001 - 09:00

You sound just like my mom. She said clerks should not be handling food and putting their hands in their mouth afterward.
You are very wise, I think I would have left the deli as well.
Should I report this to the manager so I can continue to shop there? Or should I just pay double the price and buy the fruit/vegs. at the grocery store?

Posted on: Sat, 03/09/2002 - 8:57am
wood145's picture
Joined: 09/10/2001 - 09:00

That's a tough decision. I love the market I buy my veggies at and it would be hard to give them up. I personally was "grossed out" when I saw the deli clerk eating a piece of cheese and never went back there again. I might speak to the manager and tell him/her your concerns, they might not even be aware of the danger it could pose.

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