Peanut Butter Recall. Salmonella Outbreak In 19 States

Peanut Butter10-2-2012 ABC World News with Diane Sawyer reported that the CDC has confirmed at least 30 cases of salmonella poisoning, most of them children, across 19 states. ABC’s  Steve Osunsami reports that government officials trying to contain the salmonella outbreak told ABC that it doesn’t look good and to expect more reported cases of salmonella linked to jars of peanut butter sold at grocery stores across the country. What brands are being recalled?

It doesn’t seem to be the larger commercial brands like Jif and Skippy.  All of the recalled products are linked to the Sunland Peanut Butter Corporation in New Mexico.  They make peanut butter under many labels such as the Sunland brand, Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter, Harry and David, Sprouts and the Archer Farms brand sold at Target.  Dr. Robert Tauxe from the CDC says “all the illnesses that have been investigated are related to the peanut butter products from the one plant”

What do you do if you find one of these brands in your kitchen cabinet? Osunsami says on the side of the jar, look for “Best if used by May 1 to September 24, 2013.”  Throw these away!

If your family has already gone through half a jar, what are the signs of the salmonella infection?  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say high fever, stomach cramps and dysentery (infection of the intestines causing severe diarrhea with possible blood and mucus in the feces).  These symptoms can show up within one to three days.

Steve Osunsami said ABC talked with families of children who had gotten sick. They said they had fevers of 103° that lasted for days. They were shocked to later learn that it may have started with their peanut butter.

NBC’s Chris Jansing reported on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams reported that when federal investigators traced the contamination back to the processing plant in New Mexico run by Sunland Inc,  that more than hundred products were made on the same machines.  Now those cookies, snacks and other products are also being pulled even though no one has reportedly gotten sick from these products. Retailers such as Giant Foods, Whole Foods, Newmans Own Organics and Stop & Shop are pulling these products from the shelf.  With Chris Jansing reporting that each of us eat an average of 6 pounds of peanut butter each year, it was with interest the statement made by Sunland.  “Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our customers… as a cautionary step, we have decided to voluntarily recall our almond butter, peanut butter and cashew butters, tahini and roasted blanched products…”

Chris Jansen says four people had to be hospitalized and two thirds of the salmonella cases involve kids under the age of 10.  Children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems and pregnant women are most vulnerable.

 

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