Despite its (English) name, the peanut is a bean rather than a nut; it is botanically distinct from “tree nuts” such as walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds. Like other “nuts”, the peanut is capable, on ingestion, of inducing an allergic response – indeed peanut allergy is notorious for its often serious, and sometimes fatal, anaphylactic nature. This, the frequency with which it occurs in children and concerns that it may be an increasingly common problem have together contributed to widespread professional interest in, and public fear over, peanut allergy.
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