Food Engineering

<i>Salmonella</i> recall tsunami involves more than 70 processors

January 30, 2009

The contamination was traced back to a Georgia plant

As part of its ongoing investigation of peanut butter paste supplier Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), FDA advised Kellogg Company that Salmonella Typhimurium was found in one package of Austin Quality Foods Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter. This product was previously recalled by Kellogg in one of a series of industry recalls relating to PCA’s recall of peanut-based ingredients.

Other processors affected by PCA’s recall include, Clif Bar and Company, which announced a voluntary recall of CLIF and LUNA branded bars that contain peanut butter; The Kroger Company, which has recalled its Private Selection Peanut Butter Passion ice cream; Abbott Nutrition’s Zone Perfect chocolate peanut butter and peanut toffee bars and NutriPals peanut butter chocolate bars; Premier Nutrition’s TWISTED and TITAN bars; and NutriSystem, which recalled its peanut butter granola bar. In addition, the Canadian CFIA also has recalled a number of brands across Canada containing PCA’s peanut products.

PCA has recalled all affected products produced after July 1, 2008. None of the recalled peanut products were sold to commercial outlets; those affected were sold in bulk packages to institutional users and food processors. FDA notified PCA that product samples originating from its Blakely, GA plant have been tested and found positive for Salmonella in the states of Minnesota and Connecticut.

According to Dr. Stephen Sundlof, director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, “The product being recalled is sold by PCA in bulk packaging in containers ranging in size from 5 pounds to 1700 pounds. The peanut paste is sold in sizes ranging from 35-pound containers to products sold by the tanker.”

He added, “These products are not sold directly to consumers and PCA has stopped all production at its Blakely, GA processing plant as the FDA continues its investigation into the source of the Salmonella contamination.”

As of January 26th, a total of 501 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 43 states. More than 70 processors have issued recalls related to their use of the PCA product as an ingredient.

For an update on FDA’s activities, visit Recall of Products Containing Peanut Butter: Salmonella Typhimurium.

For an update from CDC, visit Investigation Update: Outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium Infections, 2008–2009.