BFAD: Avoid US-made peanut butter products

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 19 2009 09:51 AM | Updated as of Jan 20 2009 03:34 AM

The Bureau of Food and Drugs on Monday advised the public not to buy or consume peanut butter products manufactured in the United States due to a salmonella food scare that has sickened more than 470 people and allegedly caused six deaths.

"I have asked the  Products Control Committee to convene and so we are discussing this issue and we will be coming up with the project advisory just to inform the public that there are some products of Kellogg's and other companies that are possibly contaminated with salmonella. So this is to alert the public about this, and just like in the US we are advising the people to refrain from consuming these type of products.," BFAD Director Leticia Gutierrez said in a radio dzMM interview.

Gutierrez said the public should just consume locally made peanut butter, which is free from salmonella.

She said those who ingest salmonella-contaminated peanut butter products could contract fever, stomach ache and diarrhea.

US health authorities told consumers on Saturday to avoid eating products that contain peanut butter until they can determine the scope of an outbreak of salmonella food poisoning that may have contributed to six deaths.

"We urge consumers to postpone eating any products that may contain peanut butter until additional information becomes available," Dr. Stephen Sundlof of the Food and FDrug Administration's Center for Food Safety said in a teleconference with reporters.

As of Friday night, 474 people had been reported infected by a salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter by public health authorities in 43 of the 50 US states, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Twenty-three percent of the known cases had resulted in hospitalizations and the infections may have contributed to six deaths, said Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the Centers' division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases.

The very young, elderly and immuno-compromised were the most severely affected, he said in the teleconference.

Peanut Corporation of America
caThe company at the center of the case, Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), said it had been informed by US FDA that some samples of its products had tested positive for a salmonella strain that may have originated in a Blakely, Georgia, peanut processing plant.

PCA, a peanut processing company and maker of peanut butter for bulk distribution to institutions, food service industries, and private label food companies, on Saturday announced an expanded recall of peanut butter produced in its Blakely, Georgia processing facility as well as the voluntary recall of peanut paste produced in the same plant because these products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

The announcement was contained in a PCA press statement posted in the FDA Web site.

The company on January 13, 2009 had previously announced the recall of 21 lots of peanut butter produced on or after July 1, 2008, PCA said.

PCA on Saturday said its voluntary recall affect all peanut butter produced on or after August 8, 2008 and peanut paste produced on or after September 26, 2008 at the Georgia facility. PCA said the peanut butter being recalled is sold by PCA in bulk packaging in containers ranging in size from five to 1,700 pounds and the peanut paste is sold in sizes ranging from 35 pound containers to tanker containers, said PCA.

It said that none of the peanut butter or peanut paste being recalled is sold directly by PCA to consumers through retail stores.

"Today, the FDA informed PCA that new product samples in unopened containers tested positive for Salmonella," said Stewart Parnell, President of Peanut Corporation of America.

PCA said FDA has not yet confirmed the DNA fingerprints of these positive samples to match the strains causing the outbreaks of food borne illness in several states.

The US peanut-processing company said is immediately stopping all production at the Blakely, Georgia facility and notifying its customers to recall and retain all affected product produced during these dates at this plant.

Several US companies, as a precautionary measure, have also announced the recall of its products which they said contain inputs from PCA.

US FDA said in its Web site on Saturday that it "recommends that consumers avoid eating products that have been recalled and discard them."

Kellogg voluntary recall
Kellogg said that the following products produced on or after July 1, 2008 are possibly contaminated with salmonella. The US cereal maker said PCA is “one of Kellogg's peanut paste suppliers for these crackers” which are the subject of the voluntary recall.

The company urged consumers who have purchased the following items to ask for a refund or to destroy the following:

Austin® Quality Foods Cheese Crackers with Peanut Butter - all sizes
Austin® Quality Foods Cheese & Peanut ButterSandwich Crackers – all sizes
Austin® Quality Foods Mega Stuffed Cheese Crackers with Peanut Butter – all sizes
Austin® Quality Foods PB & J Cracker Sandwiches – all sizes
Austin® Quality FoodsSuper Snack Pack Sandwich Crackers
Austin® Quality Foods Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers – all sizes
Austin® Quality Foods Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter – all sizes
Austin® Quality Foods Reduced Fat Cheese & Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers
Austin® Quality Foods Reduced Fat Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers
Austin® Quality FoodsCookie/Cracker Pack
Austin® Quality FoodsVariety Pack
Keebler® Cheese & Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers – all sizes
Keebler® Toast & PB'n J Flavored Sandwich Crackers – all sizes
Keebler® Toast & Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers – all sizes
Famous Amos® Peanut Butter Cookies (2- and 3-ounce)
Keebler® Soft Batch Homestyle Peanut Butter Cookies (2.5-ounce)

Hy-Vee Inc. recalls bakery products with peanut butter
Hy-Vee Inc. announced January 17 the voluntarily recall the following products made in its bakery departments because they contain peanut butter that has the potential to be contaminated with salmonella:

Peanut Butter Cookies, Monster Cookies, Peanut Butter Reese's Pieces Cookies, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Lunchbox Reese's Pieces Cookies, Lunchbox Peanut Butter Cookies, People Chow Party Mix and Assorted Truffle Fudge. All sell-by dates are included in this recall. The products are sold in various packaging and quantities and have a Hy-Vee price label attached.

All items should be destroyed or returned to Hy-Vee for a full refund, said HyVee in its press release posted in the US FDA Web site.

HyVee said its action was taken immediately after PCA, the company that supplies bulk peanut butter to Hy-Vee, issued a recall of the peanut butter ingredient used to make the Hy-Vee bakery products.

The items, Hy- Vee said are sold in all Hy-Vee stores in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota, have not been directly linked to the salmonella outbreak and there have been no reported cases of the illness.

Hy-Vee Bakery Manufacturing of Des Moines, Iowa, supplies stores with many of their baked goods.

Hy-Vee said PCA recalled a number of lots of the product this week after US health inspectors found salmonella contamination in an already-opened container of peanut butter at a nursing home in Minnesota. Hy-Vee said it had been shipped product from two of the lots. Production was suspended immediately and stores instructed to remove baked goods that contained peanut butter from store shelves, said Hy-Vee.

In addition, Hy-Vee said it sent samples of the peanut butter to an independent lab for testing.

Perry’s Ice Cream recall
Perry’s Ice Cream on January 17 also announced a voluntary recall of select ice cream products containing peanut butter because the products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

Perry’s Ice Cream, in a press statement posted in US FDA Web site, said PCA is one of Perry’s peanut butter sauce suppliers.

Perry’s Ice Cream said it  is recalling ice cream products containing peanut butter sauce, which have been recalled by PCA. It said that Perry’s Ice Cream has not received any consumer illness complaints about its products. It said the affected products for recall have been distributed in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia.

Products affected by the Perry’s Ice Cream are as follows:

Perry's Premium Peanut Butter Cup Craze Ice Cream 1/2 Pint
Perry's Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream 1.5 QT, 1.75 QT AND 3 GL
Perry's Peanut Butter Chip Frozen Yogurt 1.5 QT, 1.75 QT and 3 GL
Perry's Peanut Butter Sundae Crunch Ice Cream Bar Bulk 24 pack
Perry's Premium Peanut Butter Fudge Ice Cream 1.5 QT and 1.75 QT
Perry's Perfectly Churned Light Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream 1.5 QT and 1.75 QT
Perry's Light Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream 1.75 QT
Shurfine Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream 1.75 QT
Wegmans Chocolate Nutty Cone Ice Cream 1.75 QT
Wegmans Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream 1.75 QT and Pint
Wegmans Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream 1.75 QT
Wegmans Peanut Butter Sundae Ice Cream 1.75 QT
Wegmans Peanut Butter Pretzel Ice Cream 1.75 QT
Wegmans Peanut Butter Crunch Ice Cream Bar 6 pack
Wegmans Peanut Butter Candy Sundae Cup Ice Cream 4 pack
Wegmans Peanut Butter Sundae Cup Ice Cream 4 pack

King Nut recall
King Nut Companies, a US distributor of peanut butter manufactured for them by PCA,  had announced last January 10 a recall of peanut butter distributed under the King Nut label. 

King Nut, in a press statment posted in the US FDA Web site, said it recalled its peanut butter products as soon as it was informed that salmonella had been found in an open five-pound tub of King Nut peanut butter. 

King Nut said it distributes peanut butter only through food service accounts and not directly to consumers. King Nut said it does not supply any of the ingredients for the peanut butter distributed under its label. All other King Nut products are safe and not included in this voluntary recall, it said. With Reuters