NAMA Advises Members Of Widening Peanut Product Recalls
CHICAGO — The National Automatic Merchandising Association has issued a second bulletin alerting its members to new Food & Drug Administration warnings about the danger of peanut products possibly contaminated with the salmonella microorganism.
NAMA senior director of government affairs and counsel Brian Allen reported that, to date, more than 500 cases of salmonellosis caused by S. Tymphimurium, the pathogen found in the contaminated peanut products, have been reported.
“Vending operators and others should use the factual information found on the FDA website, www.fda.gov, to tell their customers and locations which products are included in the recall, and what your company is doing about it,” Allen advised. He added that many products containing peanuts are not affected, “so everything does not necessarily need to be pulled from machines.”
The NAMA government affairs director called members’ attention to a searchable product database created by FDA to speed searches for information on what has been recalled. That database can be accessed at accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/peanutbutterrecall/index.cfm.
“Identification of products subject to recall is continuing,” Allen pointed out, “and this database is updated frequently.” Those without convenient access to the Internet can get the information by calling FDA’s information line, (888) SAFEFOOD, or the Center for Disease Control’s information line, (800) CDC-INFO, he continued. The CDC line is staffed 24 hours every day.
The list of recalled products includes a number of peanut products used by institutions and some foodservice purveyors. Of more concern to most vending operators are the affected peanut products used by food producers as ingredients in items including cookies, crackers and other baked goods; candies; snack bars and snack mixes; fruit and vegetable products with peanut butter; ice cream; and even pet foods.
Allen can be reached by calling NAMA headquarters at (312) 346-0370, or emailed at email@example.com.
Kellogg, Wells’ Dairy Expand Peanut Product Recalls
BATTLE CREEK, MI — Kellogg Co. and Wells’ Dairy have expanded their voluntary nationwide recalls of certain products containing peanuts. The move follows Peanut Corp. of America’s recently expanded recall to include all peanut ingredients produced in its Blakely, GA, facility since Jan. 1, 2007, which may be contaminated by salmonella.
Kellogg has issued a recall for Keebler Soft Batch Homestyle Chocolate Chunk Cookies and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies in the 2.5-oz. size only, with a “best if used before” date prior to June 30, 2009, with the following UPC codes: 3010032708, 3010037899. The company has also recalled Special K Protein Meal Bar, Honey Almond variety only, in six-count and eight-count packages with a “best if used before” date prior to Feb. 1, 2010, with the following UPC codes: 3800039778, 3800039935, 3800039931.
Although these products do not contain any peanut ingredients from Peanut Corp. of America, they were produced at another company’s facility on the same line as products that were made for other companies using potentially contaminated PCA ingredients.
Also as a result of Peanut Corp. of America’s expanded recall, the Jan. 16, 2009, Kellogg Co. recall of Austin and Keebler Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers and select snack-size packs of Famous Amos Peanut Butter Cookies and Keebler Soft Batch Homestyle Peanut Butter Cookies now includes all code dates. Retailers had previously been advised to remove all of these products from store shelves, regardless of code date, so the vast majority of them are no longer in the marketplace, but consumers having any of these products in their homes are urged to destroy them.
Separately, Wells’ Dairy expanded its voluntary recall of its 8-fl.oz. Blue Bunny Personals Bunny Track ice cream sold at retail and foodservice levels to include Lot Number 80030, “best used by” date 11/17/2009. The affected product was shipped to the following states: Virginia, Iowa, Ohio, Nebraska, Washington, Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Oregon. The product contains peanuts from Peanut Corp. of America.
As a precaution Wells’ Dairy recalled one lot of 8-fl.oz. Blue Bunny Personals Bunny Tracks (80024 D19114 “best used by” date 09/11/09) and all Blue Bunny No Sugar Added Reduced Fat Bunny Tracks ice cream sold at retail and foodservice in quart plastic containers, with all codes displaying “best used by” dates prior to Jan. 29, 2010.
For an up-to-date list of manufacturer recalls involving affected peanut products and more information on the ongoing investigation of the salmonella contamination, visit FDA’s website.
Hershey, Mars And Nestlé Reaffirm Safety Of Peanut Butter Products
The Hershey Co. reaffirmed on Jan. 29 that it does not purchase any peanut butter, peanuts or peanut products from Peanut Corp. of America. Peanut butter for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups is made in Hershey facilities under stringent safety and quality standards, the company reiterated. The chocolate company said all its products with peanuts or peanut butter are safe to consume. They include Hershey’s, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and all Reese’s extensions, as well as Nutrageous, Hershey’s Kisses with Peanut Butter, Hershey’s Miniatures, Mr. Goodbar, Payday, Take 5 and 5th Avenue, along with seasonal treats and items sold to other food companies and used as ingredients in other products.
Mars Snackfood US also said its products remain unaffected by the FDA’s recently expanded recall, since it does not receive or process any peanut products from Peanut Corp. of America. The majority of Mars products are manufactured using peanut butter made from its own roasted peanuts. The following Mars Snackfood US products contain peanut butter and are safe to consume: M&M’s Peanut Butter, Snickers, Snickers ice cream, Twix Peanut Butter, Kudos Peanut Butter Granola Bars and Ethels chocolate.
Similarly, Nestlé USA has emphasized that none of its products have been affected by the current peanut butter recall. Nestlé USA said it does not purchase any peanut butter from Peanut Corp. of America.
However, Nestlé HealthCare Nutrition Inc., manufacturer of the Optifast line of weight loss products, has announced a voluntary recall of its Optifast Honey Nut’n Oat Nutritional Bars, which contains peanut butter that was manufactured by PCA. The Optifast Honey Nut ‘n Oat Nutritional Bars were distributed to patients through Optifast Medical Clinics. They are not available in retail stores and vending, and are not sold under any other name.