Are Peanuts Safe?

on the recall lsit

Not yet, though the source of the Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak is limited to a single peanut processing plant in Georgia which has been shut down according to a recent FDA peanut recall fact sheet.

While major brands of peanut butter sold in supermarkets like Peter Pan, Skippy and Jif are safe to eat, some cookies, ice-cream, candy and snacks made with peanuts are not – as of April 18, 3912 products in all have been recalled.  And the number could increase as the FDA continues its investigation into the unclean practices of the Peanut Corporation of America  (PCA) plant in Blakely, Georgia.  So be careful!

trader-joes

Unclean indeed.  In April of 2008, Canada refused a shipment of peanuts from PCA found to contain metal shavings.  Yum – extra crunchy!

And reports have indicated that some lots of PCA product had initially tested positive for Salmonella, and then retested negative, and were shipped to companies and retailers anyway.  On learning of the negative retests, owner and president Stewart Parnell sent an email saying, “ok, let’s turn them loose”.   This statement and others in which Parnell complained about the costs associated with delayed shipments of peanuts has led to a criminal investigation of PCA.  When Parnell was called to testify before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on February 11, he refused to talk, citing his fifth amendment right against self-incrimination.  PCA has now filed for bankruptcy protection.

The  Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that 600 people have become ill since the fall and 9 deaths have been linked to the outbreak.

Companies that have purchased tainted PCA products have issued voluntary recalls and the FDA has asked retailers to pull its stock of PCA products on the recall list.  The FDA also urges consumers to discard any peanut butter products found on its searchable peanut product recall database.  It might be easier to just trash your stash of peanut based treats.

on the recall list

on the recall list

We love peanut butter at our house, but I’m not taking any chances and have already tossed out all the peanut butter we had around – including a jar of Extra Crunchy Jif.  We’ve chucked trail mix, peanut butter crackers, snack bars and cookies – even Rocky Road ice-cream which could contain a stray peanut or two – you never know.

Hey, if you have a dog and dog treats in the house, check the database – even doggy biscuits and doggy snacks containing peanuts could harbor Salmonella!  So wash your hands after handling any canine treats, just to be safe.

The horror of it all.  When will it end? googoo

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