Sunday, April 13, 2008

Through Someone Else's Lungs

I went grocery shopping with the girls this afternoon. Way to spend my spring afternoons, lol.

As we entered the bulk section I saw one of the clerks refilling the peanuts bin. Normally I would not have thought twice about it, but since I've started this blog, allergies have been on my mind. As he was pouring the peanuts I imagined all of the peanut dust rising and spreading around the store. Now, I admit, I didn't see any dust floating, but I know you don't need to see it for it to be spreading. Worst part, it was right next to fruits and veggies. Now, I'm sure most people wash their produce before consumption, but I know I'm not one of them! I can only assume that a person with severe allergies would.

I approached the clerk and mentioned that my child has severe allergies and, although she likely wouldn't be affected, other people might. I also asked if it was possible to fill their nut bins in the back. His response was "I'm very sorry." That's nice and all, but I'm not sure that was enough. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that he didn't blow me off or give me attitude, but at the same time, I expected something along the lines of "Gee, I never thought of that, I'll see if that's possible". Saying sorry didn't exactly instill me with a lot of confidence that someone will look into it.

That wasn't the worst of it, though. When we were finished shopping, I realized I forgot the bananas, so I went through the bulk section again. Without even realizing, I stepped into a significant "puddle" of peanut dust which then stuck to the bottom of my shoes and pants. Now, because a) I noticed, and b)have an allergic husband, I made sure to wipe my shoes off when I exited the store and before getting into the car, but I bet most people just spread the peanut protein in their cars and possibly homes.

I suspect most parents know that toddlers love shoes, but also that they LOVE to chew on them. I think you can see where I'm going with that. I can only imagine how exhausting it must be for a parent whose child is extremely allergic to peanuts. My heart goes out to you. I count myself lucky that Izzy is not quite in that category.

I think I'll call the store manager and see what can be done about refilling the bulk bins.

UPDATE: Woo Hoo! I called the manager of our local Extra Foods and he said it was an excellent point. They will look into filling their bulk bins in the back and if that's not possible, they'll do it after hours and ensure the floors are cleaned afterwards. It may not completely eliminate the risk of exposure, but it will definitely reduce it significantly!

1 comment:

allergicmom said...

Hi Mamique, nice to meet you! I do check my email regularly, so feel free to send any questions my way.