Oh, Nuts!

Posted By John Coletti || 30-Jan-2009

This is not a good time for lovers of peanut butter. What began as a cautionary recall of peanut butter products has blossomed into a full-scale assault, with more than 400 products recalled. According to a January 28, 2009 article in the New York Times, some eight people have died and more than 500 across 43 states have gotten sick after ingesting contaminated products. The culprit is Georgia-based Peanut Corporation of America, which supplies peanut products, including peanut butter, peanut paste, and peanut oil, to a number of large-scale food manufacturers. The FDAissued a recall of all products containing any of these ingredients from Peanut Corporation of America produced since January 1, 2007. Yes, that is right–2007. Among the products recalled are Keebler and Austin brand Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies, PetSmart Grreat Choice Dog Biscuits, some Trader Joe’s peanut butter-flavored granola bars, Jenny Craig peanut butter flavor nutritional bars, Uncle Eddie’s peanut butter chocolate chip vegan cookies, and many more.

An unfortunate aspect of this recall is that Peanut Corporation of America had been cited a dozen times over 2007 and 2008 when FDA inspectors discovered salmonella contamination in its plant. The company apparently did nothing to rectify the problem and continued to manufacturer salmonella-tainted products. The FDA has put into motion a criminal investigation of the corporation.

Most large-scale peanut butter jar brands are safe, since most do not buy products from Peanut Corporation of America. Be cautious, however, of products that might contain peanut butter or peanut paste. This can range from ice cream to Asian-style peanut sauces.

Categories: Public Safety