As awareness of allergies increases we’re seeing unusual items banned from workplaces – from peanut-free schools to prohibited plants.
The poster says it all: a banana with a big red cross through it. That’s the latest décor change at the BBC’s Broadcasting House.
A staff member’s serious allergy has prompted the ban on the fruit, which can reportedly lead to “severe” non-fatal symptoms.
A spokesperson for the company reported that the ban was issued by colleagues of the affected worker who were concerned for her welfare.
The banana-free zone has been put in place in “specific areas of the newsroom”, where staff have been warned peeling or eating the fruit at their desks could cause problems.
“The posters placed in specific areas of the newsroom have been 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 spokesperson said.
Banana allergies are understood to come in two forms, with some sufferers reacting to tree pollens and others to a substance similar to that in natural latex. It can sometimes take the form of a rash, sickness or tingling of the lips, tongue and throat.
Those who suffer a more extreme form of the allergy can go into anaphylactic shock, where the mouth, throat and airways can constrict. Without prompt treatment, such a reaction can lead to death.
Last year it was reported that Bell Canada had banned the festive poinsettia from its offices due to a staff members’ severe allergy.