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Peanut butter recall affects local retailers

Staff writers

Peanut butter got a bad rap last year at about this time with an outbreak of Salmonella, and it’s happening again.

Suppliers of peanut butter used in crackers have sent recall notices to local retailers, advising them to remove and destroy the items from their shelves.

Peanut Corporation of America recently initiated a voluntary recall of peanut butter produced by its Blakely, Ga., processing facility because it had the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

Products affected were produced on or after July 1, 2008.

Items specifically recalled from local retailers’ shelves were Little Debbie and Keebler brand crackers with the peanut butter product.

For most of the local grocery stores in the area, those notices came from the warehouses from which they purchase their items.

For Dale Franz, owner of Dales Supermarket in Hillsboro, he received a notice from the warehouse but did not have any of the items on hand.

Vickie Turner and husband Rick own Peabody Market. She said their supplier also keeps them alerted to recalls that raise a safety concern.

Affiliated Foods Midwest, a Nebraska wholesale company, supplies the Peabody store with the merchandise they sell.

“They stay on top of those issues for us,” Turner said. “They know what we have in stock and they let us know immediately if there is any kind of a recall.”

Turner opened a file drawer and thumbed sheets in a file folder that was an inch or two thick.

“These are all recalls,” she said.

Affiliated Foods e-mails the information and the Turners or their employees pull the products.

“Usually we fill out a form and send it in so that we can be reimbursed or get credit for whatever has been recalled,” she said.

Turner said that if anyone has purchased peanut butter products that has been recalled, they should bring the product to the store for a refund.

“By all means, they should bring them back to us,” she said. “We don’t want anyone getting sick.”

At Carlsons’ Grocery of Marion, they had a full stock of Little Debbie crackers which were removed from the shelves when the recall notice was received.

Owner Greg Carlson said his warehouse also notified him of the recall.

Ampride, located in Marion and Hillsboro, doesn’t sell Little Debbie crackers but Tuesday morning pulled Keebler crackers from their shelves.

“I was contacted by Cashways Deliveries of Kearney, Neb., and was told to remove and destroy the items,” Legg said. The stores will be credited for the lost merchandise.

To be on the safe side, Legg also pulled other peanut butter cracker products.

Vogt’s Hometown Market of Hillsboro also received notification of the recall and pulled the items.

Casey’s General Store in Marion had not yet been contacted regarding the recall but typically someone from their corporate headquarters would call with instructions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the outbreak strain of Salmonella in 43 states and Canada with two cases reported in Kansas.

Don’t eat it!

The CDC and FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) advise consumers to not eat recalled products. Throw them away in a manner that prevents others from eating them. Postpone eating other products containing peanut butter such as cookies, crackers, cereal, candy, and ice cream until information becomes available.

People who think they are ill from eating peanut butter are advised to consult their health care providers.

What is Salmonella?

Salmonella is a group of bacteria that can cause diarrheal illness in humans. They are microscopic living creatures that pass from the feces of people or animals to other people or other animals. There are many different kinds of Salmonella bacteria.

Salmonella germs have been known to cause illness for more than 100 years. They were discovered by an American scientist named Salmon, for whom they are named.

Symptoms

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, eating food contaminated with Salmonella can result in abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and fever. Most people infected with the germ develop symptoms 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most peole recover with treatment. However, in some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.

Consumers who wish to have additional information about name brands and lot numbers that have been recalled, may visit www.peanutcorp.com.

Last modified Jan. 21, 2009

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