Peanut Products Recall Update
Published 28th January 2009, 4:30pm
The Department of Environmental Health (DEH) is continuing to advise the public that an alert has been issued by the Food and Drug Administration concerning an the recall of many products containing peanut butter or peanut paste manufactured by the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) at its Blakely, Georgia facility because the products have the potential to be contaminated with the Salmonella bacterium.
The FDA has determined that PCA distributed potentially contaminated product to more than 70 consignee firms, for use as an ingredient in hundreds of different products, such as cookies, crackers, cereal, candy and ice cream. Companies all over the country that received product from PCA have issued voluntary recalls of their products. FDA has created a searchable database for these products, which can be found at www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/peanutbutterrecall/index.cfm, Identification of products subject to recall is continuing and this list is updated frequently.
Products being recalled now include some pet food products that contain peanut paste that was made by PCA. While the risk of animals contracting salmonellosis is minimal, there is risk to humans from handling these products. It is especially important for people to wash their hands and make sure children wash their hands after feeding treats to pets. Further information for consumers is located in the Frequently Asked Questions section located on the FDA web site.
Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children; frail or elderly people; and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with salmonella often experience fever, diarrhoea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances the organism may get into the bloodstream, producing more severe illnesses such as infected aneurysms, endocarditis, and arthritis. If you have eaten any peanut based products and are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact your medical provider immediately.
Environmental Health Officers of the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) are continuing to investigate for the presence of all affected products in local supermarkets, shops, wholesalers, importers and distributors, both here and the Sister Islands. If any affected products are found, they are removed immediately from supermarket shelves.
Environmental Health Officers are working closely with the food businesses to ensure that affected product is not sold and over 600lb of recalled product has been removed and destroyed.
Major national brands of jarred peanut butter found in grocery stores are not affected by the PCA recall.
FDA and DEH recommendations for consumers include:
- Do not eat products that have been recalled and throw them away in a manner that prevents others from eating them.
- To determine if commercially-prepared or manufactured peanut butter/peanut paste-containing products (such as cookies, crackers, cereal, candy and ice cream) are subject to recall, consumers are urged first to visit FDA's website and check the searchable database of recalled products.
- For information on products containing peanut butter from companies not reporting recalls, consumers may wish to consult the company's website or call the toll-free number listed on most packaging. Information consumers may receive from the companies has not been verified by the FDA.
- If consumers cannot determine if their peanut butter, peanut butter/peanut paste-containing products or institutionally-served peanut butter contains PCA peanut butter/peanut paste, DEH recommends that they do not consume those products.
- Persons who think they may have become ill from eating peanut butter are advised to consult their health care providers.
For further information concerning local efforts, contact the DEH at 949-6696. For other details, visit the FDA website at www.fda.com.