July 10 (UPI) -- Southwest Airlines said it will stop serving peanuts next month over allergy concerns.
The airline announced Monday that beginning Aug. 1, flight attendants will no longer serve peanuts to passengers.
Peanuts became a staple food on all airlines after Southwest marketed itself as a way to fly for "peanuts" since it could lower ticket prices by serving them instead of on-board meals, Skift reported.
"It was all about marketing," Bob Van der Linden, of the aeronautics division at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, told Skift. Other airlines served peanuts before and have since, Van der Linden said, but "Southwest was the first to serve only peanuts, and did so proudly, to show how cost efficient it was."
The airline has now joined others in ditching the salty snack due to some passengers' allergies. It will continue serving other snacks, but acknowledged some nostalgic travelers would miss the peanuts.
"Peanuts forever will be part of Southwest's history and DNA," a Southwest Airlines statement said. "However, to ensure the best on-board experience for everyone, especially for customers with peanut-related allergies, we've made the difficult decision to discontinue serving peanuts on all flights ... Our ultimate goal is to create an environment where all customers-including those with peanut-related allergies-feel safe and welcome on every Southwest flight."
Reactions to peanuts from those with associated allergies can range from a tingling sensation around the mouth and lips and hives to death, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Severe food allergies result in 150 deaths each year in the United States, 30,000 emergency room visits and 2,000 hospitalizations, data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration show.
Southwest is now joining American and United airlines, which also don't serve peanuts on board flights, but there's no guarantee the flights will be entirely free of peanuts.