Tuesday, January 27, 2009

All Natural does NOT always mean Safe....

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Trader Joe’s Expands Its Voluntary Recall To Include Trader Joe’s Sliced Green Apples With All Natural Peanut Butter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- (January 23, 2009) Monrovia, CA - Trader Joe’s today expands its voluntary recall to include Trader Joe’s Sliced Green Apples With All Natural Peanut Butter, 7-ounce (UPC 92459) because the product contains peanut butter that was manufactured by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), which is the focus of an ongoing Salmonella investigation.

Yesterday as part of the ongoing PCA investigation, as a precaution Trader Joe’s voluntarily recalled three private label items including: Peanut Butter Chewy Coated & Drizzled Granola Bars, 7.4-ounce (UPC 88713), Nutty Chocolate Chewy Coated & Drizzled Granola Bars 7.4-ounce (UPC 88721) and Sutter’s Formula Cookies, 16-ounce (UPC 00176)

Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail and elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis. For more information on salmonella, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web-site at www.cdc.gov.

As a precaution, in advance of this recall, Trader Joe’s removed all four items from store shelves. Both Chewy Coated & Drizzled Granola Bars were supplied by Lovin Oven, LLC and the Sutter’s Formula Cookies were produced by WendySue & Tobey's Bakery.

The Sliced Green Apples With All Natural Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter Chewy Coated & Drizzled Granola Bars and Nutty Chocolate Chewy Coated & Drizzled Granola Bars were sold at Trader Joe’s stores nationwide.

The affected Sutter’s Formula Cookies were sold only in Trader Joe’s stores located in Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada.

At this time, there have been no confirmed cases of illnesses or adverse affects affiliated with these products.

At Trader Joe’s we take the safety of our customers and the integrity of our products very seriously. Customers who have purchased any of these items (any date code) are urged to return them to any Trader Joe’s for a full refund. Customers with questions may contact Trader Joe’s Customer Service at (626) 599-3817.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Peanut Butter in Pet Food too BEWARE!!!

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U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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PetSmart Voluntarily Recalls Grreat Choice® Dog Biscuits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- PHOENIX, AZ, January 20, 2009 -- PetSmart is voluntarily recalling seven of its Grreat Choice® Dog Biscuit products that contain peanut paste made by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). PCA is the focus of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation into potential salmonella contamination of peanut butter and paste made at its Blakely, Georgia facility.

Although PetSmart is not aware of any reported cases of illness related to these products, it has removed these products from its store shelves and website and is conducting the recall as a precautionary measure.

The recalled products include only the following types of Grreat Choice Dog Biscuits sold between Aug. 21, 2008 and Jan. 19, 2009:

  • Small Assorted 32 oz., UPC 73725702900
  • Small/Medium Assorted 4 lb., UPC 73725700601
  • Small/Medium Assorted 8 lb., UPC 73725700605
  • Small/Medium Assorted 10 lb., UPC 73725702755
  • Large Assorted 8 lb., UPC 73725700638
  • Extra Large Assorted 8 lb., UPC 73725700779
  • Peanut Butter 4 lb., UPC 73725700766

Customers who purchased the recalled dog biscuit products should discontinue use immediately and can return the product to any PetSmart store for a complete refund or exchange. Customers can visit www.petsmartfacts.com for more information or contact PetSmart Customer Service at 1-888-839-9638.

No other products or flavors are included in this recall.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Government has advised consumers to avoid eating cookies, cakes, ice cream and other foods containing peanut butter

Kellogg says FDA confirms salmonella in crackers:

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – Kellogg Co. said Monday federal authorities have confirmed that salmonella was found in a single package of its peanut butter crackers, as a Midwestern grocer recalled some of its products because of the scare.
Kellogg had recalled 16 products last week because of the possibility of salmonella contamination.
On Monday, the company based in Battle Creek said that contamination was confirmed by the Food and Drug Administration in a single package of Austin Quality Foods Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter.
Food companies and retailers have been recalling products with peanut butter in them because of suspicion of contamination amid a salmonella outbreak that has killed at least six people and sickened more than 470 others in 43 states. At least 90 people have been hospitalized.
Also Monday, Midwestern grocer and retailer Meijer Inc. said it was recalling two types of crackers and two varieties of ice cream because of the possibility of salmonella contamination: Meijer brand Cheese and Peanut Butter and Toasty Peanut Butter sandwich crackers, and Peanut Butter and Jelly and Peanut Butter Cup ice cream.
It was not immediately clear how many packages of Kellogg crackers had been tested, if more tests were being made on other products or if some had already been found not have salmonella, Kellogg spokeswoman Kris Charles said.
The government on Saturday had advised consumers to avoid eating cookies, cakes, ice cream and other foods containing peanut butter until health officials learn more about the contamination.
Officials have been focusing on peanut paste and peanut butter made at Peanut Corp. of America's plant in Blakely, Ga.
On Sunday, Peanut Corp. expanded its own recall to all peanut butter and peanut paste produced at the Blakely plant since July 1.
The company's peanut butter is not sold directly to consumers but it is distributed to institutions and food companies. The peanut paste, made from roasted peanuts, is an ingredient in cookies, cakes and other products sold to consumers.
Meijer, based in Grand Rapids, said in a news release Monday it was issuing its recall because makers of its products had announced possible contamination. The products are sold in Meijer stores and gas stations in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.
The recall last week by Kellogg, the world's largest cereal maker, affected products including Keebler Soft Batch Homestyle Peanut Butter Cookies, Famous Amos Peanut Butter Cookies and Keebler Cheese & Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers. Charles said the recall affected 7 million cases of its products.
Kellogg Chief Executive David Mackay said the company would evaluate its processes "to ensure we take necessary actions to reassure consumers and rebuild confidence in these products."
Salmonella, a bacteria, is the most common cause of food poisoning in the U.S., causing diarrhea, cramping and fever.

Friday, January 16, 2009

453 Illnesses, 5 Deaths Tied To Peanut Butter


Sat Jan 17 03:55:36 UTC 2009
Five deaths linked to most salmonella outbreak

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Five deaths have now been linked to an outbreak of Salmonella food poisoning linked to peanut butter, but the strain involved is not particularly virulent, U.S. health officials said on Friday.

Later, the company at the center of the case, Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), said it had been informed by the Food and Drug Administration that some samples of its products had tested positive for Salmonella. The company also expanded its recall and immediately ceased all production at the suspect facility.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 453 infections had been reported in 43 states and said more cases could be expected. One case was reported in Canada.

"Of these 22 percent are hospitalized and five deaths have been reported that may be associated," said the CDC's Dr. Robert Tauxe. He said this was an average rate for Salmonella.

Tauxe and other officials confirmed the outbreak could be linked to peanut butter and peanut paste from Peanut Corporation of America, which has voluntarily recalled peanut butter produced in its Blakely, Georgia, processing facility.

On Friday night, PCA President Stewart Parnell said in a statement: "Today, the FDA informed PCA that new product samples in unopened containers tested positive for Salmonella."

As a result, PCA expanded its recall to cover all peanut butter made on or after August 8, 2008, and peanut paste produced on or after September 26, 2008, at the Blakely plant.

The recalled peanut butter was sold in bulk packaging in containers ranging in size from five to 1,700 pounds and the peanut paste was sold in sizes ranging from 35 pound containers to tanker containers. None of the peanut butter or peanut paste being recalled is sold through retail stores, PCA said.

The company has stressed that only institutional peanut butter was involved, not name-brand consumer products, but Kellogg Co said on Wednesday it had put a precautionary hold on Austin and Keebler branded peanut butter snacks.

"Peanut butter is used as an ingredient in many different foods, which makes this investigation complicated," Tauxe told reporters in a telephone briefing.

"In fact this appears to be an ingredient-driven outbreak."

The CDC, state health officials and the FDA are interviewing patients to see if they can remember eating any particular foods. The officials said about two-thirds of patients remembered having eaten peanut butter, but noted that some foods contain peanut products that may not be obvious.

"We urged companies to check (their records) ... and tell us if the peanuts came from PCA," the FDA's Stephen Sundlof said.

Tauxe said Salmonella Typhimurium is a common strain, accounting for about 20 percent of the 40,000 Salmonella cases reported in the United States every year.

"Peanut butter is not a food that supports the growth of bacteria in general," Tauxe said. This is why it can be stored unrefrigerated.

"Salmonella and other bacteria, if they are introduced into peanut butter ... they are not in any way destroyed," Tauxe said.

"They don't continue to grow in the peanut butter but they similarly are not killed in the peanut butter. So they sit there in a dormant state."

An outbreak of salmonella was linked to Peter Pan brand peanut butter in 2007. ConAgra Foods Inc closed a Georgia plant after more than 300 people became ill.

Salmonella can cause abdominal cramping, diarrhea and fever and it can kill the very young and the very old.

(Reporting by Maggie Fox; additional reporting by Steve James; Editing by Julie Steenhuysen)

Monday, January 12, 2009

CDC: Tainted peanut butter, 3 deaths may be linked

Associated Press:
By ELIZABETH DUNBAR – 4 hours ago
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The salmonella bacteria that has sickened more than 400 people in 43 states has been conclusively linked to peanut butter, Minnesota health officials announced Monday. Federal officials said the outbreak may have contributed to three deaths.
State health and agriculture officials said last week they had found salmonella bacteria in a 5-pound package of King Nut peanut butter at a nursing facility in Minnesota. Officials tested the bacteria over the weekend and found a genetic match with the bacterial strain that has led to 30 illnesses in Minnesota and others across the country.
"The commonality among all of our patients was that they ate peanut butter," said Doug Schultz, a spokesman with the Minnesota Department of Health. While the brand of peanut butter couldn't be confirmed in every case, the majority of patients consumed the same brand, he said Monday.
"This certainly is one pretty definitive piece of evidence in this case," Heidi Kassenborg of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture said Monday.
The peanut butter was distributed only through food service providers and was not sold directly to consumers. Officials are concerned the peanut butter is still being used, and Kassenborg urged institutions to toss it out.
A woman in her 70s at a northern Minnesota nursing home died after contracting salmonella, although epidemiologist Stephanie Meyer of the state Health Department said it wasn't clear whether the illness or underlying health problems caused the death. The woman was not at the facility where the bacteria was initially found.
The Centers for Disease Control, in a release later Monday, said the salmonella poisonings may have contributed to three deaths. The CDC didn't detail the deaths or where they occurred, and spokesman Dave Daigle said the agency would have no other details Monday.
Minnesota officials took the lead because foodborne investigations typically start at the state level. Minnesota officials were coordinating their investigation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other states.
King Nut Companies of Solon, Ohio, on Sunday asked its customers to stop using peanut butter under its King Nut and Parnell's Pride brands with a lot code that begins with the numeral "8." Company president and chief executive Martin Kanan said Monday that Minnesota's findings validated that decision.
"We did not want to wait around for the results," he said.
However, Kanan argued that King Nut could not be the source of the nationwide salmonella outbreak because the company distributes only to seven states — Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, North Dakota, Arizona, Idaho and New Hampshire.
The peanut butter King Nut distributed was manufactured by Peanut Corporation of America, a Virginia company. In an e-mail earlier Monday, President Stewart Parnell said the company was working with federal authorities.
The peanut butter was distributed to establishments such as care facilities, hospitals, schools, universities and restaurants. King Nut says it was not distributed for retail sale to consumers.
The CDC on Monday raised the number of confirmed cases to 410, from 399 as of Friday, and Mississippi became the 43rd state to report a case. All the illnesses began between Sept. 15 and Jan. 7, but most of the people became sick after Oct. 1.
Kanan held out the possibility that the contamination came from another source, since the salmonella was found in an open container.
"That means there's a possibility of cross-contamination, somebody could have been cutting a piece of chicken and then stuck the knife into the peanut butter for a peanut butter sandwich," he said. "There have been no tests that have come back positive on a closed container."
The Minnesota lab took 13 samples from the container, and four of the samples, taken from different parts of the container, tested positive for salmonella. Doug Schultz, a Minnesota Health Department spokesman, said if the sample was contaminated from another source, lab tests would be expected to show positive results from near the top of the container only.
But Schultz said lab workers also aim to test unopened containers of the peanut butter and are trying to get such samples from the distributor.
The peanut butter contamination comes almost two years after ConAgra recalled its Peter Pan brand peanut butter, which was eventually linked to at least 625 salmonella cases in 47 states.
CDC officials say the bacteria in the current outbreak has been genetically fingerprinted as the Typhimurium type, which is among the most common sources of salmonella food poisoning.
Martiga Lohn in St. Paul and Thomas J. Sheeran in Cleveland contributed to this report.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

King Nut Issues Peanut Butter Recall

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U.S. Food and Drug Administration

King Nut Issues Peanut Butter Recall

Customers are asked to take all King Nut peanut butter and Parnell’s Pride peanut butter distributed by King Nut out of distribution immediately. For more information, go to www.kingnut.com.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE --Solon, Ohio (January 10, 2009) - King Nut Companies, a distributor of peanut butter manufactured for them by Peanut Corporation of America, today announced a recall of peanut butter distributed under the King Nut label. No other King Nut products are included in this recall.

King Nut took this action as soon as it was informed that salmonella had been found in an open five-pound tub of King Nut peanut butter. King Nut distributes peanut butter only through food service accounts. It is not sold directly to consumers. King Nut does not supply any of the ingredients for the peanut butter distributed under its label. All other King Nut products are safe and not included in this voluntary recall.

“We are very sorry this happened,” said Martin Kanan, president and chief executive officer of King Nut Companies. “We are taking immediate and voluntary action because the health and safety of those who use our products is always our highest priority.”

“Because we don’t manufacture peanut butter, we will do what we can to get this product out of distribution and will work with the manufacturer to inform others of this problem,” Kanan said. “We also distribute peanut butter from this manufacturer under the Parnell’s Pride brand, although we are not the only distributor. However, we have asked our customers to remove this brand as well.”

Kanan said that King Nut began contacting customers immediately to stop distributing all peanut butter with lot codes beginning with “8,” and immediately cancelled orders with the manufacturer.

Martin Kanan
440-248-8484 extension 244

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

UnKnown Source: Salmonella outbreak sickens 388 across U.S

Salmonella outbreak sickens 388 across U.S.: CDC
Wed Jan 07 20:10:36 UTC 2009

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An outbreak of salmonella food poisoning has made 388 people sick across 42 states, sending 18 percent of them to the hospital, U.S. health officials said on Wednesday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is trying to trace the source of the outbreak, which began in September. The Department of Agriculture, state health officials and the Food and Drug Administration are also involved.

The CDC said poultry, cheese and eggs are the most common source of this particular strain, known as Salmonella typhimurium.

"It is often difficult to identify sources of foodborne outbreaks. People may not remember the foods they recently ate and may not be aware of all of the ingredients in food. That's what makes these types of investigations very difficult," said CDC spokesman David Daigle.

Daigle did not specify how many people were hospitalized, but the percentage he gave puts that figure at about 70.

"Because foods of animal origin may be contaminated with Salmonella, people should not eat raw or undercooked eggs, poultry, or meat. Persons also should not consume raw or unpasteurized milk or other dairy products. Produce should be thoroughly washed," he said.

Only Ohio state health officials have agreed to have their state named as one of those affected, with an estimated 50 cases.

Every year, approximately 40,000 people are reported ill with salmonella in the United States, the CDC says, but it said many more cases are never reported.

There have been several recent high-profile outbreaks of foodborne illness in the United States, including a strain of Salmonella carried by peppers from Mexico and that sickened 1,400 people from April to August of 2007 and an E. coli epidemic in 2006, traced to California spinach, that killed three.

Salmonella-contaminated dry pet food sickened at least 79 people, including many young children, in October and November.

(Reporting by Maggie Fox)


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