Saturday, January 24, 2009

Never Mind that Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

The salmonella outbreak in the US appears to be caused by peanuts. And no, the culprits aren’t from China. All the products appear to be of American manufacture:

The number of deaths possibly linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak has risen to 11, with officials reporting new fatalities in Minnesota and Ohio.

In Minnesota, a long-term care facility patient in her 80s may have died because of the salmonella outbreak, which has been blamed on contaminated peanut butter found in a wide array of food products, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In Ohio, four additional deaths may be linked to the outbreak, which now has hit Ohio harder -- in terms of number of cases and deaths -- than any other state, officials said.

[…]

Nearly 500 people in 43 states have been sickened possibly because of the salmonella outbreak, the CDC said.

Besides the five new deaths, six prior deaths have been reported by state health departments as being possibly linked to salmonella -- two in Virginia, one in North Carolina, one in Idaho and two additional cases in Minnesota.

Here is some useful information from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) regarding questionable products:
- - - - - - - - -
Here’s a recall list.

Another list allows you to search by product type.

These all appear to be prepared foods, even the dog food (peanut butter in dog food? Only the pampered pets of the childless, I suppose).

There are very few plain jars of peanut butter on that list (they call it “peanut paste” for all you goobers* out there). Of the very short list of this so-called paste, there appear no nationally branded products.

Lots and lots and lots of prepared foods are represented, though. Which recalls your momma's advice: only shop the periphery of the grocery store. Do not wander into the aisles picking up prepared snacks and pre-packaged “food”.

Of course that wisdom doesn’t always work. Momma didn’t know about organic killer vegetables back then.


* To our European readers: a “goober” is a peanut in its basic form. However, “Goober” can also refer to a kind of dim-witted rustic Southern male. Note that only other dim-witted rustic Southern males are permitted to use this form of fond appellation without risking injury to themselves.

4 comments:

Rose said...

Some good links:
JunkFoodScience - Helping peanut butter heads prevail
...No national brand of peanut butter is affected. “There is no indication that any national name brand jars of peanut butter sold in retail stores are linked to the PCA recall,” states the FDA.

Those jars of peanut butter in your pantry and peanut butter cookies and PB&Js your mother makes have not been linked in any way to this outbreak....


Her links to info: Salmonella Typhimurium
Peanut Butter Product Recall List
FDA updates and FAQs here
CDC updates and FAQs here

Natalie said...

This is sad--I wanted to get something with peanut butter in it at Coldstone the other day but I was afraid to!

Zerosumgame said...

Baron,

I'm not sure your European posters can fully understand the impact of this.

American kids grow up on peanut-butter (and grape/raspberry jelly) sandwiches. -- Although for some reason, about 5% of kids have developed peanut allergies in the last 20 years, so that some schools actually ban it now.

Peanut butter is both politically correct in that it is vegetarian, and politically incorrect in that it is high in fat. It is also high in protein.

But it is an integral part of American culture. It would be like Norwegians finding out that lutefisk is contaminated, or Italians finding their pasta is contaminated.

Bilgeman said...

Dymphna;

"These all appear to be prepared foods, even the dog food (peanut butter in dog food? Only the pampered pets of the childless, I suppose)."

Not at all. There's a pet product out there called a "Kong", basically a hollow hard-rubber dodecahedron. AVailable at your local VaJanYa "big box" pet superstore.

You load a mess of peanut butter in there with a dog biscuit sticking out of the end, and you've created a "Nintendo" for a happy,(and quiet), puppy.

Our Blue Heeler poochie, who chews,(and swallows...and digests, sort of),EVERYTHING in God's Creation, gets his Skippy from his own jar.