Singapore Airlines reviews nut policy following allergy scare

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SINGAPORE AIRLINES (SIA) is reviewing its serving of nuts on flights after a toddler recently suffered from a severe peanut allergy reaction aboard a Melbourne-bound flight. 

The boy, Marcus Daley, went into anaphylaxis – a life-threatening condition that can be induced by allergens such as peanuts or shellfish – after passengers around him ripped open their snack bags of peanuts.

His father Chris Daley told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) his son had received a nut-free meal from cabin crew, but began to react when passengers around him were eating their nuts.

“He started vomiting, his eyes were starting to swell and he couldn’t speak properly,” he told the ABC.

“With peanut dust, when you open a packet, part of what you can smell is tiny fragments of peanuts which are going up into the air.”

Fortunately, Marcus’ anti-allergy medication swiftly subsided the situation.

Following the incident, SIA apologized to the Daley family and is considering making changes to its nut policy.

“As soon as our crew were made aware of the situation, they immediately removed all packets of peanuts from the area around Mr Daley and his family,” a spokesman for the airline said.

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However, the airline said it had little say over snacks passengers bring on board, according to its reply to a passenger’s comment on Facebook

“We do not have any control over passengers consuming their own snacks or meals on board, which may contain nuts or their derivatives,” the airline said in the reply.

Meanwhile, on social media, some frequent travelers came down on the parents’ “irresponsible behavior”. According to the BBC, one Facebook user said, “They know the severity of their son’s allergy and should have simply ensured he took the meds prior to the snacks being served.”

Another user wrote: “Shouldn’t their child have been given a mask to wear since he is so allergic? What if somebody brought peanuts along in their bag and opened it in the airplane?”

Other major airlines including British Airways and Qantas have stopped serving nuts on board as well as minimally using nuts in meals.