Nut allergy

Old Feb 16, 19, 4:01 am
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Nut allergy

We travelled in F to KUL last week. I refused the pre flight nuts as I have a mild allergic reaction to walnuts. I had a discussion with the CC about it. On getting to breakfast time I just ordered the fruit but also a Danish pastry to go with the coffee. As soon as I bit into the pastry my walnut reaction started. I was feeling pretty rough and spent some time vomiting in the restroom. The final 2 hours of the flight was a bit of a write off, me having to drink copious amounts of water to offset the reaction. The CC were very good and a golden ticket has been awarded accordingly. They were surprised, as was I , about the Danish containing walnuts as they believed they knew all products on board which contained nuts. They also said they were making a note in the trip report.

I emailed BA a few days later explaining the issue and have copied part of the reply:

"Thanks for letting us know what happened on your flight to Kuala Lumpur on ## February. I apologise for the delay in my response. I completely understand why you’re annoyed your Danish pastry didn’t meet the standard you would expect from us.

We’ve investigated the issues you’ve raised and we’ve examined the ingredients in the meal you were served. We haven’t found any evidence that might suggest your pastry contained any ingredients that should not have been present, or which were not declared."

They also offered 10k Avios. I don't have any other allergies and I have no doubt that this contained, or had been in contact with, walnuts

Is this reasonable for BA to be so lax about what was a potentially much more serious issue?

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Old Feb 16, 19, 4:05 am
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How were they lax? They have investigated and cannot find any evidence that the product came into contact with walnuts.

Can you be sure that you don’t have any other allergies? Could it be something else?
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Old Feb 16, 19, 4:27 am
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Unfortunately BA can't guarantee that any meals are allergen free other than specifically ordered meals, e.g Gluten Free.
There are so many allergens that it would be impossible for them to measure every one.
They do try to cover the most common ones, but if you have bad allergic reactions it's probably better for you to provision yourself.
Nuts are specifically called out as something they cannot control

There are reports of nut, crustacean and animal product cross contamination in many entries in FT.

I would take the avios and chalk it up for future reference.
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Last edited by DeathSlam; Feb 16, 19 at 4:29 am Reason: added chalk
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Old Feb 16, 19, 4:27 am
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My first reaction is that the kitchen doing the danish was also making some walnut flavoured cake nearby. You can make a brown shiny glaze from walnuts, but there are cheaper and easier ways of getting that (e.g. caramelised sugar plus E172). I'm sorry to read about this, it must have been an unpleasant end to the flight. I've no doubt that kitchen had been inspected by both BA and local food hygiene specialists, but that doesn't stop someone being sloppy one day and perhaps reusing a baking tray that hadn't been thoroughly scrubbed. 10K was what I was offered for a near 10 hour delay in Madrid (details in the EC261 thread), if that helps,
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Old Feb 16, 19, 5:20 am
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F breakfast catering also often has a maple and pecan pastry, maybe this is more likely to contain walnuts and all the pastries are kept and warmed in the same container?
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Old Feb 16, 19, 5:53 am
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I always wonder why they allow nuts anywhere need planes. Common sense to me would go for a nut free environment at airports and on planes.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 6:05 am
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...but i like nuts
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Old Feb 16, 19, 6:21 am
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Planes and airports are public places. Banning any one food is a slippery slope. People are allergic to all sorts of things not just food) would you ban those too?

I hope the OP is fully recovered.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 6:22 am
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Sounds like an unpleasant experience. The response comes across as cut and paste (talking about "standards" etc) whereas the actual issue is a simple one: are there walnuts or traces of walnuts in the Danish? The answer appears to be no, or at least not "officially", in the sense that it's not on the label. Which means that either (1) the labelling is wrong and there are in fact walnuts or traces of walnuts in the Danish (which would be serious and pretty appalling) (2) BA are lying and they know there are walnuts (which I am 100% is not the case) (3) BA are mistaken as the labelling does in fact on its face show that there are walnuts in there, but this has simply been missed (unlikely) (4) the OP is allergic to something else (I note that he is clear that this is not so, which we should take at face value) or (5) some sort of inadvertent cross contamination as alluded to above.

Option 5 seems by far the most plausible.

One potential action point might be for crew to be trained to inform passengers who notify them of nut allergies of the risk of some cross contamination. I would have thought that in a small galley this is a potential risk worth flagging.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 7:01 am
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sorry that the OP had a bad reaction to the Danish,
but here we go again with banning certain food items, if the airline was to ban food that passengers allergic reactions too, there would probably no food to serve
Its tough for those that suffer reactions, but I feel the those that suffer allergic reactions to certain types of food, should bring with themselves any medication that can help (assuming there is one)

The offer of 10,00 avios seems quite a decent offer,
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Old Feb 16, 19, 7:25 am
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I love nuts. All of them.
Daughter has life threatening allergy to some nuts. Especially cashew.
We either have no nuts in the house, or have them in sealed units in cupboards.
That is no reason for banning them from planes.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 7:33 am
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Originally Posted by bazza1603 View Post
I always wonder why they allow nuts anywhere need planes. Common sense to me would go for a nut free environment at airports and on planes.
A colleague of mine has a severe wheat intolerance. Should planes and airports also be bread free?
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Old Feb 16, 19, 9:17 am
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I seem to develop new allergies regularly (this is being medically investigated) and have been given a drink with an ingredient Iím allergic to onboard despite checking it didnít contain said substance.
It made for a very uncomfortable and worrying journey.
Its always a horrible when something like this happens, luckily for me - and for the OP the consequences werenít fatal.
Iíd accept the Avios and Ďfileí it under things not to eat onboard again.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 9:48 am
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If one gathered a list of all ingredients to which there are common allergies and then banned those ingredients from commercial aviation, e.g. airports and aircraft, it would be a long list and there would be many passengers quite unhappy.

People who suffer from severe allergies should never eat anything served on a commercial aircraft. Even if the item itself does not contain an offending ingredient, there is no suggestion that the items are not exposed to such ingredients.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 3:23 pm
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The prevalence of food and environmental allergies has skyrocketed in the last couple of decades. This is the result of over sanitary living environments and lack of exposure to outdoor allergens from plants and animals as children. This is compounded by the fact that each subsequent generation is made of weaker constitution and overall more of a whiny type. Go back 30-40 years and you won't see human beings dying or becoming deathly ill from all pervasive ingredients like gluten, dairy, nuts, etc.

If you have serious medical allergies, do not complain about public transportation not bending over backward to suit you. I find it incredibly generous they have so many options for meals in flight and I have seen them cater towards allergies numerous times.

There is a point at which they cannot prevent some degree of cross contamination as I'm sure they don't wash hands or change gloves every time before they touch someone's tray or cup.

Pack your own food if you have serious food allergies or fly private.
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