FDA expands recall of peanut butter products - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

FDA expands recall of peanut butter products

SPOKANE, Wash. - More unsettling news about one of the nation's food staples.

The Food and Drug Administration has expanded its recall of peanut butter products in what could grow to the largest food recall in U.S. history with ten times or more the current number of products involved.

More Information

- From the FDA: Recall of Products Containing Peanut Butter
- Search combined list of recalled products here
- Contact the FDA at 1-888-SAFEFOOD
- Contact the CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO
Peanut Corporation of America is now recalling all of products manufactured at its Blakely, Georgia plant since January 1, 2007.

The recall could involve thousands of foods that contains peanut products including energy bars, crackers, candy, along with large vats of peanut butter used in institutions like nursing homes and schools. 

The latest recall follows an FDA inspection that began earlier this month where officials found evidence of salmonella contamination.  Federal investigators say the company at least 12 times shipped peanut products that had failed internal salmonella tests. 

Oscar Garrison, the Georgia Deputy Agriculture Commissioner, said "I'm angry about the company hiding these results.  We do what we can during our food safety inspections out there with the staff that we've got.  Sixty employees for 16,000 facilities across the state and then you have a company that actually knows that they have a problem and doesn't make us aware of it."

Of the known cases of more than 500 people, half of those sickened are under age 16. 

Eight of the victims have died.

The FDA says the Georgia plant could have been the source of other salmonella outbreaks involving different strains of the bacteria.

As the scope of contamination widens, the number of people affected, they fear, could grow much higher.

The FDA also alleges the Georgia company took no steps to improve sanitation conditions after salmonella was found in its plant.

The Peanut Corporation of America released a statement on Wednesday saying the company "was acting out of an abundance of caution and with the U.S. FDA's help to recall all of the products manufactured in its Georgia facility."

It's still believed that jars of peanut butter sold in grocery stores are safe.

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