At Least 600 People Sickened by Salmonella From Tainted Peanut Products
Feb. 10, 2009 -- More than 1,800 peanut products have been recalled in the wake of the salmonella outbreak linked to the Peanut Corporation of America's Blakely, Ga., plant.
The FDA is maintaining a searchable list of peanut product recalls. Major national brands of jarred peanut butter found in grocery stores aren't linked to the outbreak and haven't been recalled.
At least 600 people in 44 states and one person in Canada have been sickened by the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium, and the outbreak may have contributed to at least eight deaths, according to the CDC. The CDC notes that cases appear to have peaked in December, but it's too early to say that the outbreak is over because it can take two to three weeks for cases to be reported to the CDC.
When the outbreak began, it was linked to Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) products that were distributed to institutions, not stores. But the PCA recently issued a news release listing several brands that it formerly sold directly to consumers at retail stores.
The PCA says it hasn't sold any brands directly to consumers in stores since 2007, but the PCA says in case anyone still has those products on hand, those brands are Casey's, Parnell's Pride, Reggie, and Robinson Crusoe, which PCA sold to 99 Cent Stuff, 99 Cents Only Stores, Dollar General, and Dollar Tree stores.
Recent peanut-related recalls by other companies include:
- Trader Joe's has expanded its recall to include its Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies and Vegan Trail Mix Cookies and Frozen Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookie Dough.
- Kmart is recalling certain Super Kmart bakery goods that contain granulated peanut products.
- Rite Aid is recalling its Rite Aid Chocolate Peanuts and Rite Aid Bridge Mix.
The Peanut Corporation of America's subsidiary, Plainview Peanut Company, has suspended operation of its processing plant in Plainview, Texas, while the FDA and state health officials investigate the plant. According to a statement posted on the web site of the Texas Department of State Health Services, a private lab under contract with the PCA indicated the possible presence of salmonella in some product samples from the plant.
Texas health officials state that "it does not appear that any of the implicated products -- peanut meal, granulated peanuts and dry-roasted peanuts -- have reached consumers," and that they're not aware of any illnesses linked to the PCA products made at that Texas facility.
The FBI is helping with the FDA's investigation of the PCA's Blakely, Ga., plant. FDA officials announced on Jan. 30 that the FDA and the Department of Justice are conducting a criminal investigation of the PCA.