Remember the massive outbreak of salmonella in peanut butter? No, not the one earlier this year, or the one in 2012, or the one in 2007. We mean the one in 2008, where peanut butter shipped from the Peanut Corporation of America was linked to more than 700 illnesses and nine known deaths. Five years after the company’s cartoonish terribleness was revealed, three executives were put on trial for knowingly distributing contaminated food to the American public. [More]
Our sister blog at ConsumerReports.org notes that “current salmonella outbreak caused by tainted peanuts could drag on for as long as two years,” according to the FDA. The Peanut Corp of America may be history, but because peanut butter has such a long shelf life, and because they’re still adding products to the recall list, there may be food items lurking in pantries across the U.S. that are loaded with disease-causing peanuty badness.
It was bound to happen, and it looks like it just did: Peanut Corporation of America has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and will liquidate its assets to pay off creditors.
Here’s a handy widget, courtesy of the FDA, that you can use to determine whether or not your Valentine’s Day goodies are a trap set by an angry lover.
On Thursday, Texas ordered the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) to recall all products shipped from its plant in Plainview, Texas. The order came after Texas Department of State Health Services discovered dead rats, rat droppings, and bird feathers in a crawl space that was connected to the plant’s ventilation system.
The House Commerce Committee is currently holding a hearing on the salmonella-tainted peanut butter. Included on the witness list are the families of several people who were killed or sickened by the peanut butter, as well as the president and plant manager of the Peanut Corporation of America. It’s really compelling testimony, and we’re sure the grilling of the PCA people will be intense. You can watch it online at C-SPAN or the committee’s website. (Photo: goaliej54 and greefus groinks)
We know there’s salmonella story fatigue setting in, but this new overview from yesterday’s Senate hearing is the best yet as far as piecing together exactly how salmonella-tainted peanut butter made it into our food supply for such a long period of time, and why it took so long to trace it back to a single rotten peanut plant in Georgia. Ultimately the blame lies with Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) for failing to maintain its factory and for not destroying lots that tested positive for salmonella, but both the FDA and the CDC had a role in it, too. One example: the FDA didn’t even know the plant produced peanut butter or peanut paste until 2007.