The peanut butter chronicles

Any minute now, perhaps, the peanut butter industry will file its request for some bailout money. It has to be reeling as health investigators from Minnesota and across the country continue to track the salmonella outbreak

We should emphasize Minnesota more than across the country there.

A Seattle Post Intelligencer blog writer takes note of that.


Seattle lawyer Bill Marler, the guru of the nation’s food safety investigators, is spitting mad about the way the Food and Drug Administration failed to take any definitive action when the first case of peanut-butter spawned salmonella surfaced in Minnesota in September.

“What in the hell are they thinking?” Marler told me today. “The FDA knew there was a problem on Labor Day and they wait for inaugural day to do anything.”

Marler says he just returned from Minnesota where the nationwide outbreak of 500 or so cases of illness and at least six deaths were first reported by Minnesota’s top notch health detectives.

The peanut butter contamination has been traced to a plant in Georgia, and companies that don’t use the plant’s peanut butter are issuing claims of innocence. No matter, consumers mostly can’t tell what peanut butter in what cookie or other snack came from one plant. Better to avoid it altogether, said the Food and Drug Administration on Sunday.


Because identification of products subject to recall is continuing, the FDA urges consumers to postpone eating commercially-prepared or manufactured peanut butter-containing products and institutionally-served peanut butter until further information becomes available about which products may be affected. Efforts to specifically identify those products are ongoing.

If you’d like to check your current stocks against the list of products that have been traced to the salmonella-contaminated plant, here’s a list.

update – Via comments, the above list are product that contain peanut butter, not necessarily the bad peanut butter. A link to recalls is in comments.