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Killer Peanuts

Peanuts have got it all: severe allergic reactions, massive choking potential and contaminated by-products, it’s almost as though our favourite bar snack is out to get us.

Every year about 125 people in the USA die from food allergies – peanut allergies being the most common cause of death. We should remember though that 125 people is still only about 0.0000007% of the population. In 2005 it was widely reported that a Canadian teenager died after kissing her boyfriend who had a peanutty snack – the papers were disappointed when the coroner’s report disagreed with their story stating that she had suffered a huge asthma attack. It must have been one good kiss.

However, allergic reactions aren’t the only way that peanuts carry on their crusade against humankind. They are one of the most commonly choked upon foodstuffs, being perfectly designed to slip down your windpipe before happily lodging themselves in your airways.

Even when they’re ground up and pounded into paste, peanuts are still fighting. Earlier this year a contaminated batch of peanut butter imparted lethal infections of Salmonella to four pensioners in and around Baltimore.

Back to Top Ten Deadly Vegetables

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05 May 2009
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