Peanuts Stir Controversy On Northwest Airlines Flights

On Feb. 1, four months after it merged with Delta, Northwest Airlines began handing out peanuts, as Delta has been doing for years. News of the change resulted in a flood of negative comments on the Web site of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, where Northwest is based.

"This is a very disappointing development," wrote one man who responded to the story. "My wife's allergy is so severe that if someone is sitting next to her and eating peanuts, the odor is enough to trigger an allergic reaction." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than three million Americans are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts.

It doesn't help that the country is the midst of a salmonella outbreak caused by tainted peanuts. Wrote another reader: "What on earth are Delta/Northwest thinking? Are they nuts (no pun intended)???"

Delta says it will make accommodations, if a request is made, by creating a buffer zone of three rows in front of and three rows behind the seat of anyone who is allergic to peanuts, and it will serve non-peanut snacks to everyone within that area.
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