INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Vendors toted empty Cracker Jack bags Wednesday night at the Indianapolis Indians baseball game.
The iconic baseball food was not served because of one ingredient: peanuts.
“People eat peanuts in the stands, even on the lawn,” food allergy blogger Lauren Kossack said.
But at Wednesday’s game Victory Field went “peanut free.”
“I think it’s great, primarily it’s great for food allergy families to get to come,” she said.
The American Peanut Council reports that 3 million Americans have nut allergies.
That number includes kids like Devon, who has a severe allergy to peanuts.
“Any kind of interaction he has with them, even in the air breathing peanut dust, it causes his throat to swell. He could stop breathing,” his mother Holly Ramsey said.
He can never go to baseball games because of how many peanut products are around.
“I told him we may never be able to do this again, so we’re excited to be here,” Ramsey said.
Wednesday, the ballpark eliminated all foods with nut products and crews spent more than an hour cleaning all the peanut residue off the seats and arm rests.
That’s one of the reasons kids like Devon can’t attend games.
“You know how peanuts are oily, that oil stays on the chairs,” Kossack said, “Touching it and then they rub their eye or they touch it and they go to eat something else.”
Kossak said even that can cause a reaction for some children.
She helped organize the event at the game for kids like her own with allergies and those like Devon.
“He said ‘mom, mom, I can go to the game,'” Ramsey said.
And Ramsey said she’s so thankful for this one night where she could say yes when her son said “take me out to the ballpark.”
“They have no idea how much we appreciate it, we really do,” she said.