April 3, 2009

On January 13, 2009, the Peanut Corporation of America (“PCA”) announced a nationwide recall of peanut butter produced in its Blakely, Georgia processing facility because of potential salmonella contamination.  Since that time, 3,235 peanut products have been recalled as the outbreak continues to spread.  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), the contaminated peanuts manufactured at the now-bankrupt PCA are linked to at least 691 cases of salmonella poisoning, including 9 deaths.  Furthermore, the CDC stated that illnesses are still being reported among those who ate recalled brands of peanut butter crackers. 

FDA Issues Peanut Handling and Safety Protocol

In response to the nationwide outbreak, on March 31, 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued guidelines for companies that use peanut products and said that it will seize those products that test positive for salmonella bacteria.   Additionally, the FDA guidelines have inspired calls to revamp food safety protocols in the United States.  For instance, the Robert Wood Johnson and the Trust for America’s Health are urging the Obama administration to appoint a senior food safety official in the FDA to be in charge of monitoring food safety.  Although under the current regime, the FDA is responsible for overseeing around 80 percent of the nation’s food supply, it is much more focused on drug safety. 

Peanut Recall Highlights that Supply Chain for Foods are Difficult to Trace

During its investigation, the FDA also determined that the source of many contaminated foods was untraceable.  Although federal law requires food manufacturers and distributors to identify their suppliers or recipients of their products, many were unable to do so.  The inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services is recommending that the FDA seek greater authority from Congress to require food facilities to maintain adequate records in order to help identify sources of contaminated foods in future outbreaks.       

Peanut Salmonella Poisoning Lawyer

If you or a loved one suffered injuries caused by PCA peanut butter products, contact us today for a confidential and free case evaluation.

Published November 17, 2011 by