Parents Aren't Happy About Boston Children's Museum's "PB&J Cafe"
"This makes the whole museum unsafe for so many families."
A recently opened snack spot called the "PB&J Cafe" at the Boston Children's Museum has sparked public outrage. Specifically among parents who are concerned about the safety of children with nut allergies.
About two weeks ago, the Boston Children's Museum shared a post on Facebook announcing the opening of a new cafe. "We are thrilled to announce that Stonewall Kitchen's new PB&J cafe is NOW OPEN inside the Boston Children’s Museum building!" the museum wrote. "Come on in for delicious bites and refreshments — the perfect pairing after a trip to the Museum!" Stonewall Kitchen is a Maine-based specialty food producer.
The cafe serves loads of different lunch-style items like New England clam chowder, hot chocolate, sandwiches, and more. But it's the decision to sell peanut butter and jam sandwiches, even offering a build-your-own peanut butter sandwich option, that has parents fuming. Particularly since many children across the country live with nut allergies that can be incredibly dangerous depending on the severity and the museum boasts interactive installations meant to encourage kids to touch.
One parent wrote, "As a family with a child suffering from peanut and tree nut allergies, and a long time supporter of the Children's Museum, this is so disappointing. More and more children are diagnosed with life threatening peanut allergies each year. This is definitely a move in the wrong direction," while another social media user chimed in, "This makes the whole museum unsafe for so many families. Many children can have life threatening reactions to trace amounts of peanuts. Peanut residue will now be all over the museum."
Another parent of a child with nut allergies commented, "This is so incredibly tone deaf in 2020 I’m honestly in shock. We have loved the Children’s Museum for years but we will not be returning. My 4-year-old daughter is allergic to peanuts and this is no longer a safe place for her to play."
Boston Children's Museum has parents worried after a new PB&J Cafe opened.
According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), one out of 13 children are diagnosed with a food allergy, with peanut and tree nut allergies listed as one of the eight most severe. Many schools across the country have opted to become peanut-free zones to protect children with allergies, which could affect any school field trips to Boston Children's Museum.
Boston Children's Museum has since responded to the outcry, releasing a statement via social media that read, "We want to thank all of you who have shared your concerns with us about the Stonewall Kitchen PB&J Cafe. We have read every comment and we take your heartfelt concerns very seriously. We are working with Stonewall Kitchen to find a solution that meets the needs of all families, including those with allergy concerns, and that offers safe and appealing menu options for all families that visit the Museum. We want everyone to feel safe and welcome at the Museum and ask for your patience as we work with Stonewall Kitchen to address the concerns that have been raised."