DALLAS (CBS13) – Southwest will no longer serve peanuts on its flights.
The airline tweeted Monday saying it will stop serving them as of August 1. A customer service representative wrote: “Not offering peanuts will help ensure a safe cabin for Customers with allergies.”
Southwest will offer pretzels as its “primary gesture” snack until at least the end of the year when it will re-evaluate its snack options.
CBS13 was sent this statement:
“Peanuts forever will be part of Southwest’s history and DNA. However, to ensure the best on-board experience for everyone, especially for customers with peanut-related allergies, we’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue serving peanuts on all flights beginning August 1. We hope that our free pretzels (and the wonderful portfolio of free snacks on longer flights) served along with our legendary Southwest Hospitality will please customers who might be nostalgic or sad to see peanuts go. Our ultimate goal is to create an environment where all customers—including those with peanut-related allergies—feel safe and welcome on every Southwest flight.”
A 2017 report presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology suggested peanut allergies in children increased 21% since 2010- with nearly 2.5% of U.S. children having an allergy to peanuts.
The cause for the increase is unknown, but the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases outlined new guidelines in 2017 for how and when peanut-containing foods should be introduced to infants. The guidelines cover those at high, moderate, and low risk and recommended introducing peanuts-containing foods as early as 4-6 months.
Many schools have banned peanuts and peanut-containing foods in order to minimize the risk for those with a peanut allergy.
Allergy symptoms range from itchiness and swelling to a drop in blood pressure and possible anaphylaxis.