Peanut Covered Restaurant Floors: A Safety Hazard?

We always say that restaurant owners should keep clean restaurants because their customers prefer clean restaurants. But there are some restaurants that promote the act of throwing peanut shells on the dining room floor. And we’re curious: what is your reaction to the restaurants that promote these peanut-covered floors as an integral part of their dining atmosphere?

Five Guys Burgers and Fries- Their walls boast rave reviews, but the floors at Five Guys Burgers and Fries are usually far from spotless. Large buckets of peanuts sit in the middle of the dining room and customers are encouraged to partake in unlimited peanuts and to throw the peanut shells on the floor.

Texas Roadhouse may be the most infamous American Roadhouse for a similar peanut throwing tradition, but actually the act of throwing peanuts on the floor is a tradition common to several roadhouses. Logan’s Roadhouse and Jimmy Mac’s Roadhouse are two others that promote this dining tradition.

Not only is this practice unsanitary, it is also unsafe. Here are some peanut allergy facts.

  • Approximately three million Americans admit to having peanut or other tree nut allergies.
  • Peanut allergies are the most common cause of food-related death.
  • Four out of every 100 children has a food allergy.
  • For a patient to have an allergic reaction to peanuts, it could take contact with as little as 1/1000 of a peanut.

But in a sense, peanuts are truly American. You have them at baseball games and on airplanes. Peanut Butter was invented by an American. So what kind of precautions should a restaurant take that wants to honor this iconic nut and the Americanism associated with it, but also wants to avoid endangering the lives of valued customers?

Most importantly, restaurant owners should notify customers of the use of any peanut products. Not only does this help relieve the restaurant owner of some liability, publishing the use of peanut products allows the customers to make an informed dining decision.

Do you think the health regulations should be broadened to protect restaurant customers with peanut allergies? Should restaurants like Five Guys Burger and Fries or Texas Roadhouse be allowed to continue the practice of throwing peanuts on the floor of the dining room? Post below with your comments.

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