The U.S Food and Drug Administration have expanded the recent recall of peanut butter. The peanut butter in question is linked to an outbreak of salmonella. The new recall includes peanut butter that was produced as far back as 2004.
The first recall that was issued only include two particular brands of Peanut Butter. These were all peanut butter by Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter by Wal-Mart that had the batch code 2111 on it. The same manufacturer, ConAgra Foods Inc, produces both of these peanut butters.
However as of Friday evening the Food and Drug Administration expanded their peanut butter recall to include all Peter Pan, Great Value batch code 2111 and peanut butter toppings going back to October 2004. Reuters have quoted the FDA as saying “consumers who have purchased any of the products since October 2004 should discard them.”
The reason for the recall is Salmonella. Confirmed cases of Salmonella caused by peanut butter has so far affected 425 people from 44 different states. So far there have been no known deaths due to the outbreak and just 71 of the 425 people affected have had to be hospitalised. The majority of the reported cases took place after December 1, 2006. The outbreak has brought on 13 Class Actions and 25 lawsuits.
After testing the contaminated peanut butter the FDA were able to trace the same Salmonella strain back to the ConAgra plant.
Food poisoning is a very common problem in the United States. Each year there are an estimated 76 million illness caused by contaminated food according to the Centre for Disease Control. This works out to be over 6 million cases of food poisoning each month in the U.S. To break that down one in four people in the U.S. will be affected by a food borne illness each year. Salmonella, E.coli O157:H7, Hepatitis A, Listeria, Shigella, Campylobacter and Norovirus cause the most common food poisonings. As a result some 350,000 people are year require hospital treatment and 5,000 ends up dying because of the illness.
According to the CDC of the millions of cases each year Salmonella causes around 40,000 of these. They also feel that there are many more cases occurring each year that never get diagnosed making the real annual figure close to a million.
To check your peanut butter follow these instructions. The batch code will be located on the lid of your peanut butter, the first four numbers will be 2111 the next number will indicate the year. If it is a 6,5,4 you should safely disposed of the peanut butter.
The effects of Salmonella are diarrhea, nausea and other feelings of sickness. The signs of Salmonella poisoning tend to appear within 12 to 72 hours after infection. In most cases the illness will clear up in a week, but if you are feeling unwell and think you may have caught a food born illness it is always best to consult your doctor.