Forbidden snack: US ballpark bans nuts

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut, USA – Peanuts are officially banned at the Dunkin Donuts Park, a baseball park housing the Hartford Yard Goats, a minor league baseball team.

Peanuts and Cracker Jack, a delectable caramelized popcorn and nut mix, are considered by many baseball fans to be staple snacks during a game, similar to buttered popcorn at movie theaters.

The total peanut ban is implemented after several allergic reactions suffered by unwary spectators consuming snacks during the game.

In the US, peanuts are among the most common and even the most fatal food allergens, affecting 2.2 percent of children and 1.8 percent of adults nationwide.

Yard Goats team president, Tim Restall made the decision to ban nutty foodstuffs after listening to stories of concerned parents about their children suffering from peanut allergies. To avoid triggering allergic reactions, children go the extreme mile of bringing their own food when attending parties and even wearing gloves when trick-or-treating in case they touch candies with nuts.

Some people experience averse allergic reactions when having any kind of contact with peanuts. Audience members sometimes throw peanut shells and could hit someone allergic.

Peanut allergy symptoms include rashes, hives, throat swelling, nausea, asthma, stomach pains, and diarrhea.

When asked about fans who want to consume peanuts at the park, Restall said “They can still eat peanuts at home.”

Restall added that security will also be checking bags in case fans try to sneak in the forbidden snack.

While the minor league baseball team may lose profit—and possibly some fans—from banning peanuts, an academic sees it as a marketing opportunity. According to New York University professor Henry Assael, he considers the nut ban as “publicity for a minor league team that’s not very well known, latching on to a particular health issue, versus possibly alienating some of their fans, because peanuts are a food traditionally associated with baseball.”

In Singapore and in other Southeast Asian countries, however, shellfish are the most common food allergen.

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