Friday, January 23, 2009

Got Peanut Butter?
It amazes me that so much peanut butter is made in one place.

Investigators linked the plant to the outbreak after tracing the salmonella found in two tainted samples, one an open container of peanut butter from a Minnesota nursing home and the other from an unopened container at a Connecticut school.

Both were labeled King Nut, an institutional brand produced by the Georgia company. Both samples genetically match Salmonella typhimurium, the strain of salmonella associated with the outbreak, food agency officials said.

The plant, which is closed, packed peanut butter in bulk ranging from 5 to 1,700 pounds, much of which was shipped to institutions. Many school districts have pulled peanut butter from menus, with some substituting more commonly recognized supermarket brands. New York City school officials said they had not bought any peanut butter or products with ingredients that originated at the Georgia plant.

The plant also produced peanut paste, a more concentrated product used in candy, crackers and many other kinds of foods. Tracking how the paste travels through the food supply can be challenging, because several companies can be involved in making the final food. For example, one manufacturer might coat the paste in chocolate and make a peanut butter cup, which is then sold to another company that mixes it into ice cream that may or may not also contain peanut butter. A grocery chain might buy that ice cream and sell it under a private label.

The FDA thinks that peanut butter is low risk for food poisoning so they inspect the factories every decade or so. Who is going to pay for the food that consumers bought? I know the consumers paid for them but are the companies going to reimburse the consumer?

A long list of tainted products is here.

1 comment:

Leslie in Adams Morgan said...

same thing with pet food! all of it is processed in the same place so last year when the filler was tainted the majority of all dog and cat food was recalled.