Doug / 02-06-2009 / Food-borne Illnesses

Peanut Butter Recall

Several food companies and retailers including General Mills, Inc., and grocery companies, Kroger Co. and Safeway, Inc., have been pulling items made with peanut butter recently as a result of the current outbreak of salmonella.
Recently recalled items are:

  • Safeway: Ready Pack Eating Right Kids Apples with Peanut Butter and Orchard Valley Harvest’s Organic Bark Peanut Butter Cookies and Cream.
  • Kellogg Co.: 16 cracker and cookie products, Austin Quality Foods Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter, which had previously been recalled, which federal authorities confirmed contained salmonella in a single package of its peanut butter crackers.
  • Grocer Meijer, which operates 181 stores in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Kentucky, recalled its brand of Cheese And Peanut Butter and Toasty Peanut Butter Cracker Peanut Butter and Jelly and Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
  • Kroger, the nation’s largest grocery chain recalled: Private Selection Peanut Butter Passion Ice Cream sold in stores named City Market, Fred Meyer, Fry’s King Scoopers, QFC and Smith’s in 11 states, primarily in the West.  The company said the ice cream that is potentially contaminated was not sold in its grocers that share its same name, Kroger, or any other retailers it operates.
  • Cliff Bar & Co.: Some Cliff branded bars, including some Luna and other Cliff labels.
  • Abbot Nutrition: ZonePerfect Peanut Toffee Bars and NutriPals Peanut Butter Chocolate Nutrition Bars.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has traced the outbreak to a plant in Blakely, Georgia owned by Peanut Corporation of America.  Peanut Corp. of America makes peanut butter and peanut paste and sells it to institutions and food companies.  The U.S. Government has warned consumers to avoid eating cookies, ice cream, and other foods containing peanut butter until officials learn more about the contamination.  Peanut butter sold in jars to consumers is not included in the warning.  The current outbreak may have contributed to the deaths of six people and illness in more than 470 people in 43 states.

This is the second salmonella outbreak involving peanut butter in 2 years.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said the bacteria behind the outbreak are common and not usually dangerous.  However, elderly people and those with weakened immune system are more at risk than others.  Of the six reported deaths so far, five were elderly people.  Salmonella is the nation’s number one cause of food poisoning with common symptoms including diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.

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