Those with peanut allergies well know that they must always be vigilant. Could peanut residues be lurking in that cookie? What about in that pesto sauce? You can never let your guard down, and even then you might spontaneously start wheezing or break into hives, the first warning that you’ve missed a peanut ingredient.
There is some disheartening news for those with severe peanut allergies, though: allergic reactions might even occur if you haven’t eaten anything at all. In fact, it is nearly impossible to completely avoid contact with peanuts. Recent cases in the news of allergies arising from blood transfusion or contact with a dog who had eaten dog food containing peanut butter underscore the possibility of peanuts hiding in a million places that even those who are vigilant about checking ingredient lists would never think to look.
The Stir at CafeMom recently explored possible solutions to this problem (http://thestir.cafemom.com/big_kid/120626/should_allergy_scare_put_peanuts). How can those with peanut allergies avoid contact with their allergen if they have no way of knowing where peanuts may be lurking? Unfortunately, there seems to be no easy solution, and perhaps no way to avoid peanuts without going so far as a peanut ban for everyone and in all products. Many people with peanut allergies accept that asking everyone to forgo peanuts is not realistic. What do you think?