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Your allergies are a problem for you, not for McDonald's

McDonald's is facing criticism because it says it can no longer be a safe dining option for people with nut allergies. But Deborah Yedlin says, get over it. The Calgary business columnist - and nut allergy sufferer - says McDonald's is actually doing you, and your children, a favour.
McDonald's no longer offers a nut-free environment. (Eugene Hoshiko, Associated Press/Stock)

You cannot expect the world to look after your allergies. It follows, then, that you should not be upset with McDonald's for announcing that it can no longer offer a nut-free environment to customers. 

Deborah Yedlin. (Calgary Herald)

This is how Deborah Yedlin, business columnist and lifetime allergy sufferer, sees it.

The fast-food chain faced swift criticism over its recent announcement, especially from the parents of allergic children, for whom McDonald's was a safe place to eat as a family. 

But Yedlin argues the news is actually good for those families — it's a teachable moment.

"When we make classrooms, planes and playgrounds peanut-free zones, we create the illusion that the world is looking after your child's allergies. Nothing could be less helpful, or further from the truth."

Yedlin is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, chick peas, sesame seeds and all fish and seafood. 

Despite that, she has travelled the world and spent time in places where there was no guarantee food would be free from deadly allergens.

She says she did so safely because when she was growing up, she didn't live in an allergen-free bubble. 

"I grew up with these allergies in a time when there were no Epipens or peanut-free classrooms...I learned, at a young age, that my allergies were my responsibility. I couldn't rely on people outside my family to make sure I didn't eat anything that could cause a potentially fatal reaction."