Food Allergies and Air Travel

The Canadian Transport Agency (CTA) is asking Air Canada to set up a formal policy regarding the current plan accommodating people on airplanes with severe nut allergies, following the complaints of two women on separate Canadian flights where nuts were served.

The CTA made a ruling after review of the complaints that a policy matching or equivalent to the policy suggested be implemented within a window of thirty days. After that, the two complainants will have a chance to respond or comment on the policy. The CTA is suggesting that passengers in need of this accommodation give advance notice so “Nut free Areas” can be established

However, one of the complainants has already stated that she does not believe Air Canada is doing enough. She is concerned that being in a confined space that the risk of exposure is still too high and that nut products should be barred from aboard a plane completely. She states that a buffer zone may work in a public area where the person has the option to walk away, however it will not work on a plane.

“It’s a good start, but it doesn’t go far enough” She was quoted on saying in regards to the CTA suggestion.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20100108/nuts_air_100108/20100108?hub=Canada

"where nuts were served."

"where nuts were served." ...is this referring to the women?.... Evil

I've worked with students

I've worked with students who have severe nut allergies. Even air exposure can be life-threatening. Why can't the airlines serve pretzels or something instead?

On my most recent air

On my most recent air travels, I was not served the usual little mini peanut snack. I had heard that decision was made due to travelers with peanut allergies. I believe most US airlines have already done this.

USA TODAY
US Airways axing peanuts, but not for the reason you might think
Posted at 08:54 AM/ET, Jun 05, 2006 in US Airways |

US Airways isn’t the first to pull peanuts over allergy concerns. American, United, Northwest, JetBlue, Spirit and ATA are among other big U.S. carriers that have pulled peanuts. Alaska Airlines, Continental, Delta, Southwest are the biggest carriers still serving the snack, though Continental offers a “peanut-free zone” around an allergic passenger, according the Arizona Republic. Southwest says it will refrain from serving peanuts on a flight if it is alerted that there is an allergic passenger aboard. As for US Airways, peanuts are expected to be pulled from all flights by the end of the month.

http://blogs.usatoday.com/sky/2006/06/us_airways_axin.html

rockygirl wrote: Why can't

rockygirl wrote:

Why can't the airlines serve pretzels or something instead?

What about the passengers who are allergic to wheat flour?

NovemberSkies

NovemberSkies wrote:
rockygirl wrote:

Why can't the airlines serve pretzels or something instead?

What about the passengers who are allergic to wheat flour?

Or perfume .

rockygirl wrote: Even air

rockygirl wrote:

Even air exposure can be life-threatening. Why can't the airlines serve pretzels or something instead?

I agree with Rockygirl. There is no reason nuts need to be served on flights. Peanuts are the biggest food related allergen. Comparing it to wheat is apples to oranges in this case. Allergies to peanuts are on the rise and I find people are not aware of the very real possibility of dying from a residue of peanuts on someones hands or dust in the air. I think peanuts are slowly going to be phased out of public places (like public schools), just like latex is being replaced by other things in hospitals. That is just my two cents Smiling

ablebodied wrote: "where

ablebodied wrote:

"where nuts were served." ...is this referring to the women?.... Evil

Funny!

Well, very soon you will be

Well, very soon you will be flying naked, sedated, and in a 5 point. So don't sweat the nuts.

SkinnyCaffèLatte

SkinnyCaffèLatte wrote:
rockygirl wrote:

Even air exposure can be life-threatening. Why can't the airlines serve pretzels or something instead?

I agree with Rockygirl. There is no reason nuts need to be served on flights. Peanuts are the biggest food related allergen. Comparing it to wheat is apples to oranges in this case. Allergies to peanuts are on the rise and I find people are not aware of the very real possibility of dying from a residue of peanuts on someones hands or dust in the air. I think peanuts are slowly going to be phased out of public places (like public schools), just like latex is being replaced by other things in hospitals. That is just my two cents Smiling

Skinny, let's not forget seafood, soybean, wheat, tree nuts, sesame seeds, milk, eggs, sulphites (food additives). I think the incidence of allergic reactions to peanuts has leveled off since the sudden rise between 1997 and 2002.

(I have no objection to the airlines curtailing the serving of nuts on board their aircraft, just as long as they keep the Scotch flowing!)

It is about time allergies

It is about time allergies are being taken seriously by airlines. As someone who has multiple allergies, as do many others in my family, it is a big concern. My dad's throat starts to close if he is sitting in the same room as a bowl of treenuts. The number of people with peanut allergies has doubled between 1997-2002. Flights don't serve snacks until well after take off, and they are not equipped to manage a serious allergic reaction.

barbiegirl wrote: Flights

barbiegirl wrote:

Flights don't serve snacks until well after take off, and they are not equipped to manage a serious allergic reaction.

I think if a flight crew can deal with a passenger going into cardiac arrest, they can deal with a serious allergic reaction.

I was on a (charter) flight where I ran into trouble, and I was fortunate to have a medical doctor in the seat next to me. The flight attendants made the (floor to ceiling) medical bay available to the doctor who later remarked that Johns Hopkins should have as elaborate a mobile crash cart suite.

If a flight has a medical bay containing resuscitation equipment, I'd bet that they also have epinephrine.

Canada's major airlines,

Canada's major airlines, WestJet and Air Canada, have both recently released information regarding their allergy policy for allergic travellers.

WestJet
Yesterday, WestJet and King Pharmaceuticals Canada made a joint announcement stating that they have embarked on a new initiative. In early 2011, WestJet will carry EpiPens on board its aircrafts as part of their first aid kit.

Anaphylaxis Canada, together with other members of the allergy community, was pleased to provide input to WestJet as a key community stakeholder, regarding the development of their allergy policy earlier this year.

Anaphylaxis Canada would like to thank WestJet and King Pharmaceuticals Canada for taking on this important initiative and helping to better protect allergic passengers.

Click here for the full press release: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2010/02/c2077.html

To review WestJet's full allergy policy please click here: http://www.westjet.com/guest/en/travel/special-arrangements/special-needs/allergies.shtml

Air Canada
On December 2, Air Canada posted its updated allergy policy on its website. This policy was developed as a result of a recent Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) ruling. Key stakeholders - including allergy associations and consumer groups - did not have input on the policy.

The new policy is available at: http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/onboard/dining/nutritional.html

As part of their new policy, Air Canada has introduced buffer zones for allergic passengers and the need for a medical form for travel.

Please note that the website does not provide clear direction regarding the need for a "Fitness For Travel" form and "allergies" is not currently listed on the medical conditions that require this form.

Please contact Air Canada directly for clarification on the use of this form before you travel - 1-888-247-2262 (option 4).

Anaphylaxis Canada recognizes the challenges faced by allergic individuals when travelling and is working to help create safer environments that will better protect those at risk.

For your information -

Anaphylaxis Canada

I think that expecting the

I think that expecting the airline to carry epipens on the plane if you have a severe allergy is about as irresponsible as you can get.

If YOU have the allergy, then YOU should be carrying the epipen(s).

Is that not completely obvious?

Meanwhile, I am still waiting for the airlines to have "buffer zones" around people who are allergic to cats and/or dogs and not allow people to bring their cat/dog into those zones, but unfortunately, people with dog/cat allergies don't have powerful enough "allergy associations" lobbying the government.

I'll stop bringing my peanut butter and jam sandwitches in my carry-on when the airlines start making fido and fluffy ride in the (pressurized and heated) cargo compartment.

NovemberSkies

NovemberSkies wrote:
rockygirl wrote:

Why can't the airlines serve pretzels or something instead?

What about the passengers who are allergic to wheat flour?

Yes, can't have pretzels, someone is bound to be allergic to those as well.

And of course, you can't clean the seats or the carpets, someone will be allergic to the cleaning products.

Wearing a wool sweater or suit? Sorry, there's someone on the plane allergic to wool, you can't get on.

What about the rights of the immuno-deficient? The slightest exposure to germs can kill them, but they shouldn't have to change THEIR lifestyle because of their condition, everyone else on the plane should have to wear a biocontainment suit with an independant air supply, right?

SkinnyCaffèLatte wrote: I

SkinnyCaffèLatte wrote:

I agree with Rockygirl. There is no reason nuts need to be served on flights. Peanuts are the biggest food related allergen. Comparing it to wheat is apples to oranges in this case. Allergies to peanuts are on the rise and I find people are not aware of the very real possibility of dying from a residue of peanuts on someones hands or dust in the air. I think peanuts are slowly going to be phased out of public places (like public schools), just like latex is being replaced by other things in hospitals. That is just my two cents Smiling

Allergies to wheat are also on the rise.

Speaking of apples and oranges, there are people who are allergic to those too.

I bet that someone who is severely allergic to wheat wouldn't think that their allergy is "less important" than someone else's peanut allergy.

It is not apples to oranges, either you deal with ALL food allergies or you deal with NONE of them.

People who are allergic to wheat don't somehow have fewer human rights than people who are allergic to peanuts.

MicOnTheNorthShore

MicOnTheNorthShore wrote:
barbiegirl wrote:

Flights don't serve snacks until well after take off, and they are not equipped to manage a serious allergic reaction.

I think if a flight crew can deal with a passenger going into cardiac arrest, they can deal with a serious allergic reaction.

I was on a (charter) flight where I ran into trouble, and I was fortunate to have a medical doctor in the seat next to me. The flight attendants made the (floor to ceiling) medical bay available to the doctor who later remarked that Johns Hopkins should have as elaborate a mobile crash cart suite.

If a flight has a medical bay containing resuscitation equipment, I'd bet that they also have epinephrine.

A crash cart without epi would be a pretty useless crash cart.

Interesting topic. In my

Interesting topic. In my opinion I would not prepare food 'contaminated' by nuts, I would prepare food separately from any nut presences and all utensils or equippment should be washed and rinsed out well to remove any nut traces from going directly to other food sources. The word contaminated does not refere that nuts are harmful to our body systems but some bodies cant really metabolize some nut proteins and as a result their body reacts to some proteins present in the nuts. If I were an airline, I would give food containing nuts but I would INFORM passangers about the nuts present in the food. Obviously, there should be a variety of food a passanger can have not only 'nut food'. Furthermore, I do nt advize airlines giving 'whole' nuts as passangers can choke on nuts and it is critical on a flight having a passanger who s choking.

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