Tags: bbc | banana | allergy | ban

BBC Staffer’s Banana Allergy Triggers Self-Imposed Ban on the Fruit

Tuesday, 08 Jan 2013 01:25 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Staffers at the British Broadcasting Corporation have outlawed bananas after learning of one employee's allergy to the fruit.

A series of posters that feature a banana with a large cross through it have been posted in certain areas of the BBC's new London headquarters.

According to a BBC spokesman responding to the prohibition in The Telegraph on Sunday, the banana-free zones were not imposed by BBC corporate, but rather were "put up by staff out of courtesy for a fellow colleague who has a strong medical sensitivity to bananas which can lead to severe symptoms.”

The anti-banana signs warned staffers about unpeeling or eating the fruit at their desks due to the potential problems it could cause for the one employee.

Though the staffer at the core of the banana ban is believed to suffer from "severe symptoms" associated with her allergic reaction, it is not believed to be potentially fatal in this case, according to the BBC.

There are apparently two forms of banana allergies, with some being affected by the fruit's tree pollens while others are affected by allergens in bananas that are similar to allergens found in latex. Those who have the latex-fruit allergy are also allergic to avocado, kiwi and mango, among other fruits.

Individuals with the latex-fruit allergy see more severe reactions after coming into contact with the fruit, often having abdominal pain that can led to vomiting and hives.

In extreme cases, individuals who have the allergy could go into anaphylactic shock, causing the mouth, throat and airways to constrict, which, if not immediately treated, could lead to death.

Less severe symptoms associated with banana pollen allergies often result in rashes, sickness or tingling of the lips, tongue, and throat.

Staffers at the BBC aren't the only ones to place a ban on bananas due to the allergic fears associated with the fruit.

In 2009, children at Stoke Damerel Primary School, in Plymouth, England were told to not include bananas in their school lunches due to a teacher reportedly having a life-threatening allergy to the fruit.

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