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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Peanut Butter Recalls

Many of you have likely heard by now about the peanut butter recalls. I have been getting so many questions about it that I decided to post some information to make it easier to sort out.

Salmonella can cause vomiting, fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps 12-72 hours after infection with the bacteria. It can be mild or very serious and even lead to death in some individuals. Almost 500 people have gotten sick and six people are thought to have died from this infection. The source of this contamination seems to have been found to be in peanut butter made by the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA).

The FDA is saying that normal brands of jarred peanut butter on the grocery shelves are not affected. PCA supplies peanut butter to institutions like nursing homes in large containers under the brand name of King Nut. They also supply peanut paste to numerous companies who use that paste in their snack crackers, bars, cakes, cookies, candies, cereal, and ice creams.

People started to get ill back in September 2008, but the FDA has finally been able to trace it back to the peanut products at the PCA. You may very well have something in your pantry that has been there for several months that could be contaminated.

Kellogg's Austin Quality Foods Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter is the first product (besides the institutional peanut butter) sold to consumers that's known to have tested positive for the salmonella strain. For a list of foods that have been recalled and foods that are considered safe, check out this link.

Hershey and Mars say their products are safe, as does Peter Pan peanut butter and Lance snack cookies. Kellog's, Generall Mills, Little Debbie, Hy-Vee, and several grocery brands have listed potentially contaminated products.

For Frequently Asked Questions about Salmonella and this particular peanut butter outbreak, visit this link to the FDA's FAQ section.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention's advice to consumers:
  • Do not eat products that have been recalled and throw them away in a manner that prevents others from eating them.
  • Postpone eating other peanut butter containing products (such as cookies, crackers, cereal, candy and ice cream) until information becomes available about whether that product may be affected.
  • Persons who think they may have become ill from eating peanut butter are advised to consult their health care providers.
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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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