Voluntary Recall of Peanut Butter Products in the United States Due to Possible Contamination with Salmonella
(Updated on 12 March 2007)
On 9 March 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a further update on the recent peanut butter recall incident, and provided further details of the products being affected. Upon extensive follow-up inspection, the FDA revealed that the Salmonella found in the environment of the ConAgra processing plant located in Sylvester, Georgia, and in the open jars of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter recovered from consumers matched the outbreak strain recovered from consumers who became ill.
According to the FDA news release, ConAgra is recalling all Peter Pan peanut butter and all Great Value peanut butter beginning with product code “2111”, including peanut butter toppings, back to October 2004. The FDA continues to advise consumers not to eat the affected products and advises consumers who have any of the products should discard them.
Actions Taken by the CFS
On 15 February, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) made an appeal to the trade to stop selling all Peter Pan peanut butter and all Great Value peanut butter beginning with product code “2111” and the public not to consume them. The CFS issued food alerts on the incident to remind the trade and the public to take appropriate actions. The CFS will continue to closely monitor the situation and take action as appropriate.
What is Salmonella?
Salmonella is a bacterium with widespread occurrence in animals, especially in poultry and swine, as well as environmental sources such as water, soil and animal faeces. Acute symptoms of Salmonella infection may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, fever, and headache. Chronic consequences such as arthritic symptoms may follow 3-4 weeks after onset of acute symptoms. These symptoms could be particularly serious and life-threatening in young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.
Typical foods that have been found contaminated by Salmonella include meat and meat products (e.g. roast beef, meat pies, sausage and ham), poultry and poultry products, milk and dairy products, as well as eggs and egg products (e.g. custards and cream cakes).
Advice to the Trade
- Stop selling the affected products.
Advice to Consumers
- Consumers who have purchased the affected products should stop consuming them.
- They should seek medical advice if symptoms develop.
Further information about the incident can be obtained from the following webpages:
Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department
12 March 2007