PeanutAllergyFacts.org offers resources for families, schools and professionals
With the school year in full swing, many districts face challenges in how to best manage peanut and other food allergies in a school setting. While more than 98 percent of children in America can safely enjoy peanuts and peanut-containing foods, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; sometimes managing food allergies, particularly in schools, can be an emotional and contentious issue.
That’s why Florida Peanut Producers Association, which represents all peanut farmers in Florida, is pleased to announce the launch of PeanutAllergyFacts.org, a new website for schools, parents, food service executives and manufacturers. The site offers science-based information about peanut and food allergies and links to resources about effective allergy management in schools and communities.
Ken Barton, executive director of the Florida Peanut Producers Association says, “Florida peanut farmers are proud to grow an affordable, nutritious food that families count on every day. While most Americans can safely enjoy peanuts, it’s imperative that we must all be conscientious of the way prepare, share and consume food. Peanut farmers across America take food allergies very seriously and we are committed to finding a solution and to educating others about peanut allergy facts.”
The new website emerged from consumer research conducted in 2013 by The Bantam Group. Findings from the online research study, which surveyed 2,000 caregivers of children, revealed significant misconceptions about food allergies and allergy management, such as:
A significant misconception surrounding the prevalence of peanut allergies. Study participants perceived peanut allergies to affect 24 percent of the total U.S. population – or 40 times the rate reported by the National Institutes of Health (which says that 0.6 percent of Americans have a true peanut allergy).
Many people are self-diagnosing food allergies, or turning to those without allergy expertise and appropriate credentials;
Only 52 percent of households with a self-reported peanut allergy keep epinephrine on hand to treat an allergic reaction; and 70 percent of people believe incorrectly that simply being near a peanut can trigger a life-threatening reaction.
To date, peanut farmers across the state and across the country have committed more than $10 million of their income to food allergy research, outreach and education through the National Peanut Board.
For additional resources and information about managing food and peanut allergies in your community, contact Florida Peanut Producers Association at www.flpeanuts.com or visit www.PeanutAllergyFacts.org