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Seattle Mariners peanuts sections, peanut-free sections baseball games, Safeco Field peanuts

Peanut Gallery Banned from the Ballpark

July 25, 2008 05:09 PM
by Josh Katz
Baseball stadiums from Seattle to St. Louis are experimenting with peanut-free seating sections so that fans with deadly peanut allergies can attend games.

30-Second Summary

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Although peanuts and Cracker Jack have historically been staples at American baseball games, the Seattle Mariners will have two “peanut controlled” seating sections for its August 5 game against the Minnesota Twins and its September 9 game against the Texas Rangers. Concession stands in the area will not serve peanuts or foods that might have traces of peanuts, and the sections will be meticulously cleaned.

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Minnesota Twins have also attempted to go peanut-free, as have a number of Minor League teams.

Most people have been pretty good about it,” said Cardinals usher Tom Jackson. “We don’t want to make a big deal out of it. We want these kids to feel normal.”

In America, between 0.5 and 1 percent of the population suffer from peanut allergies. Food allergies account for about 125 deaths a year, and peanut allergies are the cause of most of them.

The allergy usually develops early in childhood, and the reactions can “range from a minor irritation to a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis,” according to the Mayo Clinic. Unlike with many other food allergies, “most kids don’t outgrow peanut allergy as they get older.”

Either way, movements to rid a number of public places of peanuts have become more common. But there is debate as to whether the incidence of peanut allergies is on the rise and, if so, what could be causing the trend. Breastfeeding, antireflux medications and diaper creams have all been blamed as potential triggers.

Headline Links: Ballparks go peanut-free

Background: ‘Peanuts Pose Big Danger To Some’

Opinion & Analysis: Accommodating to those with peanut allergies

Reference: ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’; peanut allergy information

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