An initial peanut butter recall issued last week for large tubs of peanut butter potentially contaminated with Salmonella, was expanded over the weekend to include peanut paste made at the same manufacturing plant. This paste may have been used by a number of different manufacturers in products like peanut butter crackers, cookies, cakes and ice cream.
Health officials indicate that a recent salmonella food poisoning outbreak, which has surfaced over the past four months, appears to be linked to peanut butter manufactured at a Georgia processing plant owned by Peanut Corporation of America.
Product samples have tested positive for Salmonella typhimurium, which is the same strain of bacteria that has been identified in over 400 people who have been sickened in at least 43 states.
According to a peanut butter recall notice issued by Peanut Corporation of America on January 13, 2009, 21 lots of large 5 pound to 50 pound containers of peanut butter sold through distributors to schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other food service providers were recalled due to potential salmonella contamination.
At that time, the manufacturer indicated that none of the peanut butter recalled was being sold directly to consumers through retail stores.
On January 18, 2009, the Peanut Corporation of America recall was expanded to include peanut paste manufactured at the same Georgia processing plant. The peanut paste, which is a concentrated product containing ground, roasted peanuts, was sold to manufacturers of a variety of different products that contain peanut butter.
On Sunday and Monday, a number of different manufacturers who sold products containing peanut butter which may have come from paste produced by Peanut Corporation of America issued recalls of their own. Some of the recalls include variations of:
- Austin Peanut Butter Crackers
- Keebler Peanut Butter Crackers
- Famous Amos Peanut butter Cookies
- Keebler Peanut Butter Cookies
- Perry’s Peanut Butter Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt
- Shurfine Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
- Wegmans Peanut Butter Ice Cream
- Little Debbie Peanut Butter Crackers
- South Bend Chocolate and Fudge with Peanut Butter
- Food Lion Peanut Butter Cookies
- Lofthouse Peanut Butter Cookies
- Chuck’s Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies
- Pastries Plus Gourmet Cookies
- Wal-Mart Peanut Butter Cookies
Given the growing number of products being recalled and the difficulty identifying which products may contain contaminated peanut butter with salmonella, the FDA is urging consumers to avoid eating any commercially-prepared products with peanut butter or peanut butter served at hospitals, nursing homes, schools or other institutional food service locations.
Peanut butter salmonella food poisoning could result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever or abdominal cramps, with symptoms often appearing within 12 to 72 hours and lasting from 4 to 7 days.
While most healthy adults recover without substantial long-term complications, young children, older individuals and those with a weak immune system could be at a greater risk of serious infection, which may result in hospitalization or even death if not treated promptly.
Consumers who believe that they may have peanut butter products that were recalled can contact the manufacturer for additional information.
Food poisoning attorneys who are investigating and reviewing potential peanut butter salmonella lawsuits have recommended that any individuals who have been sickened by a peanut butter product preserve and store any uneaten portions for future testing. The products should be stored in a manner to prevent further consumption.