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EasyJet bans sale of nuts on board due to allergy risk

Budget airline EasyJet will no longer sell peanuts, or any products containing nuts, as a snack or meal on any of its planes, in a bid to avoid passenger allergic reactions.

In a press release, the airline said: “We have stopped all sales [of peanuts and other nuts] on board and we will also take out the last products containing nuts over the next few months.”

Passengers will still be allowed to eat peanuts and nut products on the plane, as long as they bought them elsewhere before boarding, and there is no-one with a nut allergy on board.

EasyJet has reminded all passengers with allergies to let the airline and crew members know beforehand, including during the online booking process. All passengers and crew will then be banned from eating nuts if there is someone with an allergy on board.

The release said: “We recommend that passengers inform us of their allergy at the time of booking which enables us to pass this information onto the cabin crew operating the flight.”

It added: “The health and safety of all of our passengers and crew is our highest priority, and we have therefore introduced measures to help all of our passengers with a nut allergy.”

There is currently no industry-wide consensus on the sale or consumption of nuts on commercial planes, but a proposed charter could introduce new rules on allergies and airlines in future.

British Airways and Ryanair ask passengers not to eat nuts if a fellow passenger is allergic, but they do not have outright bans.

Air France states that it can offer passengers an “allergen-free meal” if it requested in advance, but says “it cannot guarantee the absence of food allergen traces in our meals, both on board and at the airport”.

The EasyJet ban comes three years after British teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse collapsed and died due to allergies, during a British Airways flight from London Heathrow to Nice in July 2016.

The girl had a severe sesame seed allergy, and suffered a reaction after eating a baguette from food outlet Pret A Manger, which did not list sesame seeds on its ingredients label.

She died hours later despite her father administering her two EpiPen injections on the plane. EpiPens can delay an allergic reaction for a short time, but this can often be insufficient if a patient is still too far from medical assistance.

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