Peanut Product Recalls:
Update on FDA's Investigation
A joint investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of the ongoing outbreak of illnesses caused by Salmonella Typhimurium, identified peanut butter and peanut paste made at a peanut-processing plant in Blakely, Georgia, as sources of the outbreak. The plant is owned and operated by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). In response to the outbreak and accompanying investigation showing violations of FDA requirements, PCA has recalled a number of ingredients from the market.
On February 20, PCA informed customers who received products from its Georgia or Texas plants not to distribute or further use those products and to contact the FDA regarding the proper disposition of recalled products and any other matters related to the recall via the FDA recall coordinators. FDA and the Texas Department of State Health Services are working together to implement the PCA recall.
This is an ingredient-driven outbreak; that is, potentially contaminated ingredients affected many different products that were distributed through various channels and consumed in various settings. The recalled products made by PCA, such as peanut butter and peanut paste, are common ingredients in cookies, crackers, cereal, candy, ice cream, pet treats, and other foods. Consumers are advised to discard and not eat products that have been recalled. To help consumers identify affected products, FDA has initiated a searchable database of recalled products that is updated daily or as additional recalls are identified. To date, more than 2,100 products in 17 categories have been voluntarily recalled by more than 200 companies, and the list continues to grow.
In January, the recall list was expanded to include some pet-food products that contain peanut paste made by PCA. Salmonella can affect animals, and humans who handle contaminated pet-food products also are at risk. It is important for people to wash their hands – and to make sure children wash their hands – with hot water and soap before and, especially, after handling pet-food products and utensils. More information for consumers is available in the Frequently Asked Questions section of this web site. The recalled pet food products are also included in the searchable database of recalled products.
The large number of products and brands recalled already, and the large quantities of some products recalled, makes this one of the largest food recalls ever in the United States.
Major national brands of jarred peanut butter found in grocery stores have not been among the products recalled.