Peanut product recalls and related medical scares continue as the US FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and
public health officials continue to investigate the recent Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak. While production has ceased at the
factory that produced the Salmonella-tainted peanut products, health officials are still hearing about victims who have neglected
to check the recall lists and have therefore contracted Salmonella from consuming a tainted product.
The root of the outbreak has been traced to the Blakely, Georgia processing plant of Peanut Corporation of America (PCA),
which has since closed shop and filed for bankruptcy. In the wake of the scandal, it has been alleged that both the owner of PCA
and the Blakely plant manager were aware of the Salmonella Typhimurium-tainted products – but shipped them out regardless. FDA
investigations have revealed that this same violation had occurred previously – with the company knowingly shipping out Salmonella
Typhimurium-tainted products twelve times during the previous year.
Since the scandal broke, some 2,000 product recalls (including cereal, candy, ice cream and even pet food) have been issued
by over 200 companies in at least 40 states, with more occurring every day. The outbreak has been widespread, with hundreds of people
falling ill with Salmonella, and at least nine people have died from consuming tainted products; unfortunately, consumers who have
not paid attention to product recalls and related warnings may still be at risk. The investigation has revealed that the outbreak
is based in sealed products which have not been exposed to outside contamination, which means that some uninformed consumers could still be in possession of unopened, tainted products.
As the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, and US public health officials continue to investigate the
outbreak US consumers are strongly advised to peruse the FDA’s product recall list to see if they are at risk. While the recall
list has been widely publicized, there are thousands of products on that list and consumers should visit their pantries (and the
website below) to double check that they are not in possession of any of PCA’s peanut products.
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