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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:58 pm
Posts: 53
Location: Pickering
So I worked at the Toronto Sportsman show all week, it was on Wednesday until Friday... my GOD.

It boggles my mind that a venue like the Metro Toronto Convention Center that caters to families with children would STILL sell beer nuts, fudge, ice cream bars with nuts on them, nutty caramel apples etc.

I was fine the first few days, constantly sanitized my hands, washed them every hour and brought all of my own food and clorox wipes but yesterday and today I started seeing people dipping their hands in bags of beer nuts and touching all of the clothes and hangers in the booth. I resorted to wearing latex clothes for two full days, because my hands were breaking out into bad hives and I had rashes all over my neck and back. I've also been taking Reactine everyday...

I don't understand why a place like that would serve nuts so readily.

Cassandra 24 years old.
Allergic to peanuts/most treenuts, cats and dogs.
Grew out of lactose intolerance.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:12 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:22 am
Posts: 52
Location: Cayman Islands
Hi Cassandra,

I sympathize with your situation. We encountered a similar 'peanut-covered environment' when we last attended the Toronto Boat Show...and have not been back since. Below is a copy of the email I sent to the show organizers and their response. I truly don't understand why of all foods, these events elect to have peanuts (one of the most common allergens) literally all over the place. I don't actually know if the boat show has eliminated those vendor products as we just opt to pass on the show. Maybe if enough people sent letters/emails, these venues could be made friendlier for all families.


My husband and I have been attending the boat show for at least 15 years and now that are children are old enough to handle all the walking and climb in and out of the boats, we are bringing them with us. We attended the show this past January and to our great shock and distress, there were thousands of pieces of peanut all over the show and in many of the boats resulting from the sale and consumption of peanut covered ice cream treats. Our 5-year old son is anaphylactic (a life-threatening allergy) to peanuts.

Studies indicate that severe food allergies affect up to 4% of children, with peanut allergy being the most common. The prevalence of severe food allergies has been increasing dramatically over the past ten years. All Toronto community centres and many Toronto venues are becoming peanut-free and peanut-aware zones to accommodate allergic patrons.

While I don't think it is reasonable or necessary to eliminate ALL peanut-containing food products from private show venues, I do have significant concerns with a venue selling food products that will inevitably result in the spread of thousands of pieces of peanut all over the ground and onto the very boats that participants are climbing into - potentially spreading the peanut pieces onto their hands (especially when removing one's shoes).

In addition, the peanut ice cream vendors were located in a narrow corridor connecting the two main display areas of the boat show. The only way to get to the second area was to walk by these vendors. The carpet in that corridor was literally covered with peanut pieces. I don't know if you can truly appreciate the terror a parent experiences when their child goes into anaphylactic shock. But to reduce the risk of that happening, as soon as we saw the 'peanut covered corridor', we immediately pick up our child and left the show.

We would love to be able to attend the show again next year, but we will not be able to bring our children to enjoy this family event if you continue to allow vendors to sell the peanut covered ice cream treats. I would greatly appreciate a response to my email indicating how the show organizers intend to address this issue before next year's show.

For more information on peanut allergy, please visit and

Thank you


Good afternoon Fiona,

Thank you very much for your email we appreciate all of your comments.

We are very sensitive to this topic as many of us in the office have children and although none have peanut allergies we are aware of the daily concern you must have. We are very glad you brought this topic to our attention in the show environment.

I agree the peanuts covering the ice cream do create a mess on the carpet, so we will definitely need to address this issue and aim to reduce the spread and risk of coming in contact with peanuts.

We will also talk to the facility (Direct Energy Centre) to see if they've had internal discussions on this topic with other shows and events to see if they are considering a facility policy.

We will take all of this feedback into consideration as we plan for the 2011 show. I thank you again for highlighting this area of concern as creating a safe environment for family and friends to view the show is very important to us.


Son 11 yrs: Anaphylactic to eggs, milk, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts and allergic to soy, animals & environmental + Asthma.
Daughter 13 yrs: No allergies!
Me: Allergic to animals & environmental.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:56 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
Fiona wrote:

Thank you very much for your email we appreciate all of your comments.

We are very sensitive to this topic as many of us in the office have children and although none have peanut allergies we are aware of the daily concern you must have.

:banghead or :rofl comes to mind when reading of their sensitivity.

me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental

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