A string of peanut butter recalls has been traced back to the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). The latest recall includes all peanuts, peanut paste, granulated peanut and peanut meal made by PCA dating back as far as Jan. 1, 2007.
Hundreds of products have been recalled by food makers in the wake of this salmonella outbreak which has sickened 500 people in 43 states and may be linked to eight deaths.
PCA products are not sold directly to consumers but distributed to food companies and under private label. Peanut paste, made from roasted peanuts, is an ingredient found in many cookies, cakes and other products that can be found in the supermarket.
The FDA recently released an inspection report which outlined unsanitary conditions found at PCA’s Georgia plant – including mold and roaches – and confirmed the company shipped peanut products despite knowing they were contaminated with salmonella.
Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12–72 hours after infection and the illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment, but those with impaired immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness.
The FDA Web site maintains a current list of recalled peanut products linked to the salmonella outbreak.