Monday, September 24, 2012


At present there are several widely distributed food products in the U.S. that are being recalled because of contamination with Salmonella bacteria. But Trader Joe's peanut butter recall (contaminated with Salmonella Bredeney) is getting more publicity than most. Why?

Well, for one thing, just about every American household buys peanut butter. The average American child will eat about fifteen hundred peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before he or she graduates from high school. And some of us adults like peanut butter too (one of my personal favorite sandwiches is peanut butter and banana on whole wheat).

And another reason for the concern could be that we remember huge Salmonella-related peanut butter recalls in past years where hundreds have become ill, and some people have died. There was that Peter Pan peanut butter recall in 2007 and another even bigger one in 2008-2009 with at least 714 people - and many dogs - ill in 46 states. This second one involved other peanut products as well, and was traced to the unethical Georgia-based peanut plant with the pompous name - Peanut Corporation of America.

So what about the Trader Joe's recall of Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter made with sea salt which was distributed to Trader Joe's stores nationwide? Well, the store downplayed any proven link to illnesses, but the Centers for Disease control have linked eating this product to 29 illnesses in 18 U.S. states, and 4 hospitalizations (no deaths as yet).

The real issue is what ingredient caused the contamination. If it was the peanuts - as is likely - other companies will be affected as well if they use the same peanuts for the processed foods. I guess we'll find out.

In the meantime - check your cupboard or refrigerator if you shop at Trader Joe's (that is where an opened jar should be kept). In the case of past outbreaks people were sometimes becoming ill as long as a year after the recall, because of the long shelf-life of the product - and not knowing about the recall.

To your good health,

No comments: