Peanut allergy story is victim blaming gone too far

I was browsing the interwebs this morning procrastinating doing some work, when I came across a tragic article about a 15-year-old, Alexi, who died suddenly of a peanut allergy reaction.

The teen had grabbed the cookie at a friend’s house, her devastated mum Kelli explained, as she thought it was ‘safe’:

“There was an open package of Chips Ahoy cookies, the top flap of the package was pulled back and the packaging was too similar to what we had previously deemed ‘safe’ to her,” Kelli wrote.


“She ate one cookie… thinking it was safe because of the red packaging, only to find out too late that there was an added ingredient… Reese peanut butter cups/chips.”

Alexi felt tingling and immediately went home. Despite two epi pen shots and the paramedics best efforts, Alexi died of anaphylaxis 90 minutes after eating the cookie.

What a terribly awful, avoidable tragedy. I have the courage to admit that it made me cringe with shame, when I thought about the handful of times I’ve whined about not being able to send my fussy kids to school with peanut butter sandwiches.

It also made red-hot anger rise from my belly, when I visited the grieving mum’s Facebook page.

She’s sharing the story of Alexi’s death to “spread awareness, so that this horrible mistake doesn’t happen again”.

My kids don’t have any known allergies, but stories like this serve as a reality check to be on guard with my kids’ friends.

But there are some (apparently perfect) people writing some truly heinous comments on her post. People who have had their sensitivity chips removed, and who clearly have no concept of compassion or kindness.

“I’m sorry for your loss but how dare you blame the company it’s not their fault,” wrote Ramie.

“Sad story but an accident. The manufacturer is not to blame,” added Connie.

This pearler came from Jami: “This kind of angers me as a mother. The mother should have taught her daughter to read the ingredient label, not pay attention to the colour of a wrapper.”

And another insensitive soul, Robert, wrote: “How dare you accuse the cookie maker of anything here. What is wrong with this world…. next to sell bread with gluten you will need to wrap it in yellow and black caution tape. Watch what you put in your damn mouths.”

These were comments written on the Facebook page of a grieving mother!

What is wrong with this world, indeed.