What Parents Have Learned from the Peanut Butter Salmonella Outbreak

In one sentence: Err on the side of caution – don’t buy a product with peanuts for the time being. If it hasn’t been recalled yet, it may be tomorrow.

As parents and slightly paranoid consumers, when someone tells us everything is fine, we worry. If that someone is an investment manager or the FDA, we worry A LOT.

While just 2 weeks ago consumers were assured that the PBS outbreak was limited, and that they need to watch out for only a few items, it now appears that almost any product containing peanuts in various forms  is being recalled. This is partly due to new findings about the subpar sanitary conditions at the supplier manufacturing plant, which included mold, slime, pests, and rodents. Yikes!

Peanut Corporation of America  expanded its recall to ALL products it manufactured at its plant in the past 2 years! The expanded recall includes dry roasted peanuts,  oil roasted peanuts, granulated peanuts, peanut meal, peanut butter and peanut paste. The firm has supplied hundreds of manufacturers across the country, so the results of this recall have had and will continue to have a ripple effect.

Some previous recalls are being expanded by manufacturers to additional products, and more states. The recal list is growing, almost by the hour. The FDA has contacted over 350 manufacturers concerning possible contamination.

But knowing how underfunded and understaffed the FDA is, does not add confidence that the parents are receiving timely advice. Nor does the fact that recalls are voluntary, which means manufacturers have the last say, instead of the FDA mandating a recall on day one of the outbreak.

What to do at the supermarket:

If you spot someone walking into a supermarket with a list of the 500+ products being recalled in order to find one that isn’t, please let us know. Right now,  parents are reading food labels carefully. May are avoiding anything with the word peanut in the ingredient list. Proceed with caution.

Here’s the Current Recall List:

74 Recalls, 500+ products as of Friday afternoon Jan 30.

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