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Do I Have to Remove All Peanuts From My Home With a Peanut Allergy?

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I have a severe peanut allergy. Is it better to keep a peanut-free home or live with it in the house?

This is a very important question. People with a peanut allergy often face this challenging issue. It is whether to create a peanut-free home or allow foods that contain peanuts.

One option is to create a peanut-free home environment. All foods that contain or may contain peanuts are removed. This can be difficult to do. It is hard to create a true peanut-free environment. It may not completely prevent these foods from being brought in by others. This approach can create a false sense of security that a reaction will not happen. This approach is not followed as much as it was in the past.

A home that is not peanut-free, allows peanuts and foods containing peanuts in the home. These foods need to be strictly separated from any food that will be eaten by a person with a peanut allergy. All members of the household must work together. This is to make sure that the person with the allergy will not accidentally eat these foods and to prevent cross-contact with safe foods. Precautions include:

  • Labeling foods (containing vs. not containing peanuts).
  • Washing hands with soap and water after eating and preparing food.
  • Cleaning all dishes, utensils, and surfaces if they have been used with food containing peanuts.
Food Allergy, Peanut Allergy
Answered by

John M. James, MD, is a board-certified allergist. He is also President of Food Allergy Consulting and Education Services, LLC. He has worked as a medical specialist in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology for over 30 years. Dr. James received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

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