By: Rosemary Piser
Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– No doubt you have heard about the salmonella outbreak that is being attributed to certain peanut butter products produced by the Peanut Corporation of America. This salmonella outbreak has killed as many as nine people and sickened hundreds across the United States. To date, more than 1,900 products have been recalled. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a listing of these recalled products on its web site (www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/salmonellatyph.html).
It is important to note that MAJOR national brands of jarred peanut butter found in the grocery stores are NOT on the Peanut Corporation of America recall list.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), salmonella bacteria are the most common form of food poisoning in the United States. Those infected with the bacteria often experience fever, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Infants, young children, the elderly, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness if infected.
So how can you protect yourself and your loved ones? The FDA and CDC offer the following recommendations:
- Any product that is on the recall list should be disposed of in a safe manner. Place the product in a closed plastic bag and dispose of it in a sealed trash can to prevent people or animals, including wild animals, from eating it.
- Avoid eating products made with peanut butter, peanut paste, or other peanut-containing products if you are unsure whether these products have been recalled. It is best to err on the side of caution and dispose of any product that you are not certain about.
- If you have pets, you should be aware that some pet foods and pet treats may contain peanut butter, including dog biscuits and bird food. If you have a recalled pet product in your household, or are uncertain if the product has been recalled, do not feed it to your pet or other animals. For more information about how this outbreak may impact your pets, go to the “Questions and Answers Related to the Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak and Pets” found in the ‘Resources for Consumers’ section of the FDA’s web site.
- To determine if a product has been recalled, you can search the list of recalled products on the FDA’s web site or telephone the company that distributed the product at the phone number on the package. You can also sign up for e-mail alerts to be sent to you about recalled products added to the FDA web site. Since the list of recalled peanut products is growing each day, it may be very important to get these updates as quickly as possible particularly if you, or your loved ones are in one of the ‘at risk’ groups. Product information can also be provided by calling 1-800-232-4636, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you think you might have become ill from eating peanut butter or peanut-containing products, you should consult your physician immediately.