The Skies Are Safe for Peanuts

Well, peanut lovers can rest easy knowing that the little, hard to open bags of the stuff offered on airplanes are safe from regulation. Apparently, the Department of Transportation had been looking into banning the peanuts on flights due to widespread peanut allergies. However, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal and CNN, the agency has been forced to back down from their plans due to a law which specifically prohibits them from regulating the distribution of peanuts on aircraft without first doing a peer reviewed study to look at the issue from a public health point of view. Since no such study was done, the ban is currently dead in the water.

The original plan had asked for public comment on three possible ways of restricting the use of peanuts on board aircraft because of concerns regarding peanut allergies. The three options included restricting peanuts completely, restricting them on planes where passengers made such a request in advance and restricting them in special “peanut free” areas of the aircraft for those who prefer not to be in the vicinity of the stuff.

It is worth noting however that airlines are not required to serve peanuts even though they are not officially banned. In fact many airlines have switched to bags of pretzels instead, specifically because of passenger complaints regarding the peanuts. In our industry, there have been no plans to restrict the use of peanuts in bars, though again, many bars have voluntarily moved to pretzels in order to accommodate diners who were allergic to them. Now the real question is, since peanuts have been banned by some due to peanut allergies, will low carb dieters start demanding yet another alternative since they are unable to eat the pretzels that are being offered in place of the peanuts?

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