Fallout from Salmonella in Tainted Peanuts Continues Unabated as President Obama Announces Creation of Food Safety Working Group

Recall after recall has resulted from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expansion of the Peanut Corporation of America’s (PCA) Salmonella related recall to include all peanut ingredient products produced in PCA’s Plainview, Texas facility since January 1, 2007. Just last week, the FDA announced recalls of 18 peanut-containing products because the products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. The government fails to inspect 95 percent of food processing plants. Referring to that statistic as a hazard to the public health, President Barack Obama a Food Safety Working Group, a special inter-agency panel on food safety which will include the secretaries of health and agriculture, to advise him on which laws and regulations need to be changed, to foster coordination across federal agencies, and to ensure that laws are enforced.

Healthy persons infected with salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare cases, infection with salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses, such as arterial infections (i.e. infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis. Last weeks peanut-related recalled products included:
1. Cornucopia Natural Foods – bulk self-serve grind peanut butter;
2. Sherm’s Thunderbird Market, Inc. – Bulk Peanuts and Bulk Peanut Butter;
3. Dan the Sausageman – Annas Pantry 1.5oz honey roasted peanuts used in Dan the Sausageman Gift Boxes;
4. Country Village Nutrition Shoppe – 30 LBS OF BULK Mt Hood Trail Mix;
5. Farmer’s Market – bulk Cascade Organic Trail Mix, Mt. Hood Trail Mix, and Honey Roasted Peanuts;
6. Alaska Canine Cookies – Peanut Butter, Power Bone and Carrot Cake flavors of Canine Cookies;
7. Coos Head Food Store – Mt Hood Trail Mix;
8. Rock Creek Nut Company – Trail Fix, Gourmet Delight and Quick Fix trail mixes;
9. Sweet Sisters, Inc. DBA Sweet Life Patisserie – all products made with whole or chopped peanuts;
10. Mighty-O – Nutty Vanilla, Chocolate Chocolate with Nuts, and Nutty French Toast donuts;
11. Blue Heron Bakery – Spelt Peanut Butter and Spelt Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and Mud Bay Trail Mix;
12. Chocolate Chewies, Inc- Baba Joons Peanut Chocolate Chewie cookies; 13. Dr. Smoothie Brands – expanded recall of the Peanut Butter Crunch Bio Bar;
14. Premier Packing Company – raw redskin peanuts, raw Spanish peanuts, and raw blanched peanuts, Toasted Diced Peanuts;
15. Kerry Ingredients & Flavours – expanded recall of products containing peanuts;
16. Diabetic Emporium and Confectionery Shoppe, Ltd – 8 oz. and 16 oz. packages of Diabetic Emporium Chocolate Covered Peanuts;
17. Weaver Popcorn Company, Inc. – 12 oz. (340g) bags of Trail’s End Chocolatey Peanut Clusters;
18. Euphoria Chocolate Company – Individually Wrapped Milk and Dark Chocolate Peanut Clusters.

A recall involving walnuts, rather than peanuts, is Golden Chocolate International, Inc. of Brooklyn, New York’s recall of its Brighton Beach Candy because it may contain undeclared walnuts. People who have an allergy to walnuts run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product. The Brighton Beach Candy was distributed to retail stores, delis and restaurants located in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, and California from December 2008 to date.

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