Peanut-free at the ballpark: More baseball teams create sections without peanuts for those with allergies

Some Major League Baseball teams have a message for peanuts in their ballparks – you’re out!

The Milwaukee Brewers recently announced they are creating a 100-seat peanut-controlled section at Miller Park for select days this season.

Those with peanut allergies can buy tickets for the peanut-controlled section for games on May 7, July 26, and September 14. Those who buy peanut-free tickets are required to sign a waiver since other areas of the park won’t be free of the traditional baseball snack.

Registration for tickets opens March 1.

The move came after an elementary school student with peanut allergies wrote a letter to Brewers CEO Rick Schlesinger asking for an area of the ballpark for kids with peanut allergies. The Brewers surprised the student at his school and announced the creation of the peanut-free zone.

The Brewers aren’t the first team in the league to designate peanut-free sections and days. According to CNN, about half of MLB teams will host peanut-free or peanut-controlled games during the 2012 season. The list includes the Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Seattle Mariners, and the Washington Nationals.

The popularity of peanut-free games has increased in recent years, with the Minnesota Twins being one of the first teams to start the offering the option in 2006.

The peanut-free sections will be scrubbed down and restrict peanut access to the free-zone. For some, even inhaling peanut dust can trigger an allergic reaction.

Approximately 6 to 8 percent of children and 3 to 4 percent of adults have food allergies. Symptoms can range from mild irritation to hives, swelling of the tongue and throat, vomiting, dizziness and even anaphylaxis and death.

Roughly 90 percent of food allergies are caused by just eight foods: peanuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, crustaceans, fish, and tree nuts (e.g, walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds). However, peanuts are the leading cause of severe allergic reactions.

For more information on food allergens, check out Neogen’s Food Allergen Handbook.

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