Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Food Recalls

Martin Bucknavage, food safety extension associate at Penn State, has provided details on investigation into causes of salmonella contamination in peanut butter products from a plant in Georgia: The number of products subject to the PCA Peanut Butter / Salmonella recall continues to grow as the number of lots of peanut butter that were potentially contaminated increases. So as the manufacturers continue their traceability exercises, it is advisable to avoid peanut butter snacks (peanut butter crackers, peanut butter ice cream). Full jars of peanut butter (Jif, Skippy, Smuckers, etc) are fine. Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or 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. More information on many food safety and sanitation violations at the plant are being revealed. Unfortunately, there was no follow-through with correcting these situations months ago. Most food-borne illness can be prevented if food processors, food service personnel, and the consumer follow recommended guidelines. Although it is scary when these events occur, the majority of food processed in our country follows strict guidelines and is safe to consume. To obtain information on the Food & Drug Administration’s website of various products, you can visit: Click on “Recalls and Safety Alerts”. Currently there is a hot button for brand name products involved in the peanut butter recall.
What concerns or questions do you have about food safety?

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