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Salmonella Outbreak Leads To Recall of Peanut Butter Products

Over the last few days almost every news report included an item about peanut butter products and a salmonella outbreak. Each day new products from additional companies are being added to the list.

The FDA has traced a possible source of the outbreak to the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). PCA distributes concentrated peanut paste to approximately 85 companies that use it as an ingredient in many snack products.

Some of the companies whose products were found to be at risk of containing the salmonella bacteria are:

  • Kellogs
  • Little Debbie
  • Perry’s Ice Cream Company
  • South Bend Chocolate Company
  • E-B
  • Hy-Vee Inc, and
  • Ralcorp Frozen Bakery Products

While no Little Debbie product has been found to have been affected, the company has issued a voluntary recall just in case. Other companies who have purchased peanut paste from the Peanut Corporation of America are following suit and recalling their products as well. PCA has also voluntary recalled many of its products produced between August 8, 2008 and now.

Luckily, the instances of recalls for food products used for babies and children are quite rare. Since 2006 there have been recalls of the Pear Baby Juice, and some sizes of Earth’s Best Organic 2 Apple Peach Barley Wholesome Breakfast.

It is believed that six reported deaths since the story broke are related to contaminated peanut butter products. An additional 470 persons in about 43 states have been sickened by the Salmonella bacteria so far since this outbreak.

Salmonella is a serious form of food poisoning. It generally affects water, meat, eggs and unprocessed milk. Poultry can also be affected by the bacteria. It is particularly serious for young children and old people.

Some companies have come out to state that their products are not impacted. Health authorities are asking consumers to avoid using peanut butter and peanut butter products until they are better aware of the magnitude of what they are dealing with. In fact, some news reports say that the FDA is asking consumers to stop eating all cookies, crackers and candies with peanut butter until further notice. I am inclined to agree with this request.

As a parent, I have another reason to be happy that my son hates most prepackaged food including peanut butter. But nonetheless, my heart grieves for those affected.


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