Federal officials have launched a criminal investigation into the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) -- the company at the heart of the salmonella outbreak -- for allegedly shipping peanut products it knew had tested positive for that bacteria.
President Obama on Friday also promised tougher oversights of the food safety industry.
In related action, scores of food makers across the country continue to pull peanut products off store shelves in response PCA's expanded recall, which now includes all peanuts and peanut products made at its Georgia facility since January 1, 2007.
The company took that action hours after federal officials released an inspection report that revealed unsanitary conditions at the Georgia plant--including roaches and mold - -- and confirmed the company shipped peanut products its knew had tested positive for salmonella.
According to investigators with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), PCA shipped products that tested positive for various strains of salmonella 12 times since 2007.
In late 2008, the FDA's inspection revealed, the company shipped products that tested positive for the strain linked the current salmonella outbreak, salmonella Typhimurium.
Also on Friday, the Associated Press reported that schools, day care facilities, and group homes in three states received potentially tainted peanuts and peanut butter as part of the federal school meal program.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) previously said the school meal programs were not affected by any of the salmonella-related recalls.
But USDA officials confirmed that schools, day care centers, and group homes in California, Idaho, and Minnesota received roasted peanuts and peanut butter linked to PCA's expanded recall.
"A limited number of products were identified as being purchased by USDA during the two-year timeframe and most of the recalled products already have been consumed," according to a statement posted on the USDA's Web site. "The USDA is working with the small number of affected parties to identify recalled product and remove it from distribution. All USDA nutrition assistance program operators are being asked to check for any product that might have been purchased commercially."
The salmonella outbreak is now blamed for the illnesses of more than 500 people in 43 states and could be linked to the deaths of eight others.
Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and those with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In rare cases, it can cause more severe illnesses, including arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis, and arthritis.
PCA's products are not sold directly to consumers. They are distributed to long-term care facilities, universities, food service industries, and private label food companies in the United States, Canada, Haiti, Korea, and Trinidad.
U.S. food makers, however, use the company's peanut butter and paste as ingredients in cookies, crackers, ice cream, energy bars, and other products.
Some pet food makers also use PCA products. That's why health officials have warned pet owners that salmonella can be transferred to humans who handle these products. Pet owners are advised to wash their hands if they come into contact with these pet treats.
Symptoms of salmonella infection in pets include lethargy, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets, however, may have a decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.
In recent weeks, companies have removed more than 400 types of products that contain peanuts or peanut paste from PCA's Georgia facility.
The Food and Drug Administration calls this one of the largest product recalls in memory.
And the list of recalled products keeps growing. Here are the latest products companies have recalled because they contain peanuts or peanut paste made by PCA's Georgia's plant:
Harry and David Olympia Delight Trail Mix The recall includes approximately 30,500 12 oz. bags labeled Olympia Delight Trail Mix and approximately 14,200 5 oz. boxes labeled Olympia Delight Trail Mix. The recalled products were distributed throughout the United States under the Harry & David brand. The bagged product was sold only in Harry and David stores; the boxed product was sold in both Harry and David stores, Barnes and Noble, T.J. Maxx, Marshall's, and HomeGoods stores. The bagged products have a best if used by date of 3/28/08 or later. The UPC code is 780994604896.
The recalled boxed products are packaged in 5 oz tan colored paperboard boxes. The UPC code is 780994737013 or 780994751262. The company has not received any reports of illnesses linked to these products. Consumers can return the products for a full refund. For more information, contact the company at 800-233-1101, 24 hours a day.
Kroger Nut topping The topping was sold in 31 states in Kroger, Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less, Fry's, King Soopers, Smith's, Dillons, QFC, City Market, Foods Co., Jay C, Scott's, Owen's, Baker's, Gerbes, Hilander and Pay Less, grocery stores. The recalled items include: Kroger Nut Topping sold in 2.25-ounce containers with a "Sell by" date of DEC-22-09 and earlier under the following UPC Code Number: 0001111074500.
Ralphs Nut Topping sold in 2.25-ounce containers with a "Sell by" date of DEC-9-2009 and earlier under the following UPC Code Number: 0001111071444; and Fred Meyer Nut Topping sold in 2.25-ounce containers with a "Sell by" date of DEC-21-09 and earlier under the following UPC Code Number: 0001111074507. There are no reports of illnesses linked to these products. Customers can return them to the store for a full refund. For more information, contact Kroger at (800) 632-6900 or check its www.kroger.com/recalls Web site.
CLIF and LUNA bars The recall includes the following Clif Bar & Company products: CLIF BAR Crunchy Peanut Butter, BEST BY or SELL BY: 09OCT08 to 31DEC09; CLIF BAR Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch, BEST BY or SELL BY: 09OCT08 to 31DEC09; CLIF BAR Peanut Toffee Buzz, BEST BY or SELL BY: 09OCT08 to 31DEC09; CLIF Builder's Peanut Butter, SELL BY: 20SEP08 to 31DEC09; CLIF Kid Organic ZBaR Peanut Butter, BEST BY: 21OCT08 to 31DEC09.
LUNA Nutz Over Chocolate, BEST BY: 28OCT08 to 31DEC09; LUNA Peanut Butter Cookie, BEST BY: 28OCT08 to 31DEC09; All MOJO and MOJO Dipped bars, BEST BY: 01SEP07 to 31OCT09. The products were sold in retail stores across the country. To date, none of the recalled products has tested positive for salmonella. For more information -- or a refund customers can contact Clif Bar & Company at 1-888-847-2770 or visit its www.clifbar.com Web site;
Select Peanut Butter Ice Cream Products made by Perry's Ice Cream: The recalled ice cream products include:
75767-50030 Perry's Butterscotch Sundae 1.75 QT All Lots 75767-39008
Perry's Hot Fudge Sundae 8 Oz All Lots 75767-20036 Perry's Hot Fudge Sundae 1.5 QT All Lots 75767-20036
Perry's Hot Fudge Sundae 1.75 QT All Lots 75767-22504
Perry's Light No Sugar Added Mexican Sundae 1.75 QT All Lots None
Perry's Nutty Business 3 GL All Lots 75767-00237
Perry's Nutty Business 1.75 QT All Lots 75767-57001
Perry's Nutty Cones 24/4.1fl oz each All Lots 75767-82040
Perry's Vanilla Nutty Cones 6/4.1fl oz each All Lots None
Perry's Peanut Butter Swirl 3 GL All Lots None
Perry's Sabres Top Shelf Sundae 3 GL All Lots 75767-50060
Perry's Sabres Top Shelf Sundae 1.75 QT All Lots 15400-22251
Shurfine Heavenly Hash 1.75 QT All Lots 15400-82995 Shurfine Sundae Cones 6/4.1fl oz each All Lots 77890-64182
Wegmans Heavenly Hash 1.75 QT All Lots 77890-16059
Wegmans Tin Roof Sundae 1.75 QT All Lots 77890-97864
Wegmans Sundae Cones 6/3.8fl oz each All Lots 42704-00319
Cumberland Farms Hot Fudge Sundae 1.75 QT All Lots 42704-00314
Cumberland Farms Caf Coffee Fudge 1.75 QT Nov 12, 2009 only 50711-10124
Baldwin Peanut Butter Cup 1.75 QT All Lots
The company distributed the products in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Florida, Illinois and Indiana. There are no reports of illnesses linked to these products. For more information, contact the company at 1-800-873-7797 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday EST.
Blue Bunny Personals Bunny Tracks The product was sold in 8 fl oz. containers in retail stores and on the foodservice levels and includes Lot Number 80030 "Best Used By" date 11/17/2009. The product was shipped to Virginia, Iowa, Ohio, Nebraska, Washington, Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Oregon. Consumers can return the product to the store for a full refund. For more information, contact Wells' Dairy at 1-800-331-0830.
Lesserevil Peanut Butter and Choco Kettle Corn LesserEvil distributed the product nationwide and exported it to Japan and Canada. The recalled products distributed in the U.S. and Japan have a UPC of 180999000356. The UPC for the Canadian product is 180999000516. The product comes in a 3.65 oz bag. LesserEvil sells the product through distributors to grocery and specialty stores and on the Internet. The products were also included in some gift baskets. Consumers can return the products for a full refund. For more information, contact the company at (914-779-3000 ext 5) or check its www.lesserevil.com Web site
Hannaford Denali Nutty Moose Tracks ice cream. The ice cream was sold in Hannaford Stores in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York and Sweetbay Stores in Florida. The product is packed in 56 (UPC# 41268 15394) and 16 (UPC# 41268 15447) fluid ounce paper containers stamped date code prior to 09028.
Consumers can return the ice cream for a full refund. For more information, contact House of Flavors at 1-800-930-7740 x 2229, M-F from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST;
Six ice cream and frozen yogurt products by Turkey Hill Dairy: The recalled products are:
Turkey Hill Tin Roof Sundae Premium Ice Cream Container Size: 1.5 Quarts UPC Code: 0-20735-11013-3 From Sell By Code: 08/09/2009 to 01/20/2010
Turkey Hill Chocolate Nutty Moose Tracks Stuff'd Container Size: Pint UPC Code: 0-20735-42080-5 From Sell By Code: 10/09/2009 to 01/19/2010
Turkey Hill Chocolate Nutty Moose Tracks Light Recipe Ice Cream Container Size: 1.5 Quarts UPC Code: 0-20735-12122-1 From Sell By Code: 08/05/2009 to 01/06/2010
Turkey Hill Nutty Caramel Caribou Frozen Yogurt Container Size: 1.5 Quarts UPC Code: 0-20735-12505-2 From Sell By Code: 11/25/2009 to 12/19/2009
Turkey Hill Peanut Brittle No Sugar Added Recipe Ice Cream Container Size: 1.5 Quarts UPC Code: 0-20735-13506-8 From Sell By Code: 01/01/2008 to 12/12/2009
Turkey Hill Peanut Butter Mania Light Recipe Ice Cream Container Size: 1.5 Quarts UPC Code: 0-20735-12116-0 From Sell By Code: 01/01/2008 to 01/06/2010
The products are sold in retail stores in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, DC and West Virginia. Consumers can return the products for a full refund. For more information, contact the company at 1-800-MY-DAIRY (1-800-693-2479) or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
NutriSystem Peanut Butter Breakfast Granola Bar The company distributed the granola bars directly to customers in the United States and Canada through its Web site or call center sales. The products included in this action are: PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA BAR 6 32674 32016 2 1.41 oz (40 g) Flexible Film TC08158A, TC 08188A, TC09158A, TC09168A, TC09178A, TC11148A, TC11178A, TC03198A, TC04178A, TC05128A, TC05148A, TC05158A, TC05168A, TC06028A, TC06108A, TC06128A, TC06138A, TC06168A, TC06178A, TC07038A, TC07078A, TC07088A. TC08148A, TC09118A
PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA BAR / BARRE GRANOLA AU BEURRE D'ARACHIDE 6 32674 37016 7 40g Flexible Film TC03198A
NutriSystem has not received any reports of illnesses linked to these products. Customers who would like a replacement bar should e-mail the company at PBbar@Nutrisystem.com. NutriSystem, however, previously told ConsumerAffairs.com that it would issue refunds to customers who had recalled products.
Arico Peanut Butter Cookies and Cookie Bars The recalled products were sold in health food and grocery stores throughout US and Canada. The products included in this action are: Arico Peanut Butter Cookies (4.76 oz stand-up pouch with UPC 1 82363 00022 1), Sell-by dates of "080309" and "100509" Date code is printed on the top, front, left of each pouch OR on the case label as 08/03/09 and 10/05/09; and Arico Peanut Butter Cookie Bars (1.4 oz with UPC 1 82363 00006 1) Sell-by date of AUG0409; M03098 Date code is printed on the middle, back of individual bar wrapper OR on the case label as 08/04/09. The company made a one-time purchase of organic peanut butter from PCA. It has stopped using PCA as a supplier. The company has not received any reports of illnesses linked to these products. For more information or to request a refund -- customers should contact the company at 866-98-ARICO (27426) ext. 2.
Chef Pierre Chocolate Peanut Butter Silk Pie from Sara Lee The recalled product was sold frozen--with four package pies in each case -- in a 34 ounce package. It has a UPC code of 3210005095. The product was sold and distributed nationally to foodservice companies and to consumers through Sara Lee outlet stores and other foodservice establishments. Consumers can return the product for a full refund. Sara Lee has not received any complaints or reports of illnesses linked to this product. For more information, contact the company at 1-888-891-6100.
Galliker Dairy Co. Rocky Road Ice Cream and Sundae Nut Cones The recalled ice cream was sold in three-gallon containers and has lot numbers of 008-08, 086-08, and 176-08. The Sundae Nut Cones were sold to foodservice and retail outlets in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. They are individually wrapped and distributed in a 24-pack paperboard box. The recalled products have code dates prior to 01/29/10.
Galliker Dairy has not received any reports of illnesses linked to these products. For more information, contact Galliker Dairy at 1-800-477-6455 Ext. 239.
Orchard Valley Harvest Peanuts The recall includes conventional and organic peanuts roasted. The products are packed in 2-5 lb bag packs and sold to Safeway grocery stores for sale in bulk by weight and in "Nut Hut" kiosks in various U.S. stores across the county. All Lots of the following products are impacted by this voluntary recall. Peanuts Dry Roasted Unsalted 24295-70029
Peanuts Dry Roasted with Salt 24295-70030
Organic Peanuts Runner Splits Dry Roasted Unsalted 24295-70034
Peanuts Blanched Runner Splits Dry Roasted Unsalted 24295-70037
Peanuts Blanched Runner Splits Dry Roasted with Salt 24295-70038
Organic Peanuts Runner Splits Dry Roasted with Salt 24295-70053
Customers can return the products for a full refund. For more information, contact the company at 209-521-1701.
Various Simbree Energy Food products The recall products are distributed throughout the United States and Canada to grocery stores, bike shops, mail order and direct delivery. The recall includes: Simbree Oat Almond Pistash, Simbree Almond Pistachio Energy Bites, Simbree Oat Bites with Peanuts, Almonds and Pistachios/ Bouches d'avoine aux arachides, amandes et pistaches. The products are sold in 6oz/170g plastic clear pouches, pre-printed bags and 15oz/426g clear plastic canisters. The expiration dates range from 02/2009-02/2010. The United States and Canadian UPC codes for the products include: 6 oz/170g individual packages: 8 9484800006 9; United States and Canadian UPC codes for 15oz/426g individual packages: 8 9484800002 1; Canadian case UPC codes for 6oz/170g: 8 9484800024 3; Canadian case UPC for codes 15oz/170g: 8 9484800027 4. The company not received any reports of illnesses linked to these products. Consumers can return the products for a full refund. For more information, contact Simbree Energy Foods at 206-763-6020.
Rain Creek Baking Corporation's Peanut Butter Turtles, Peanut Butter Baskets and Peanut Butter Princesses: The recall covers the following products:
SinbadSweets.com 12pc Peanut Butter Princess 0 38105 10304 3
Sinbad Special Baklava Assortment Sinbad Sweets Peanut Butter Baskets, uncupped 0 38105 10933 0 0 38105 10939 7
Sinbad Sweets Baklava Assortment 19 pc Bakery and Sweets Sinbad Special European Baklava Assortment (#10989) 0 38105 10944 1 0 38105 10985 4 0 77589 37240 8
Sinbad Sweets Enrobed Peanut Butter Princesses 0 38105 10996 0
Sinbad Sweets Peanut Butter Baskets, cupped Sinbad Sweets Peanut Butter Baskets (#11949) 0 38105 11939 6 0 77589 33213 3
Rain Creek Baking Company Peanut Butter Princesses 0 38105 20013 1
Rain Creek Baking Company Peanut Butter Turtles 0 38105 20026 1
Rain Creek Baking Company Peanut Butter Turtle Shells 0 38105 20031 5
Sinbad Baklava & Sweets 0 38105 20101 5
Sinbad Baklava & Sweets 0 38105 20102 2
Sinbad Baklava & Sweets 0 38105 20103 9
Sinbad Galleta estilo Baklava 0 38105 20106 0
Sinbad Baklava & Sweets 0 38105 20117 6
Sinbad Baklava & Sweets 0 38105 20120 6
Sinbad Baklava & Sweets 0 38105 20124 2
Sinbad Baklava & Sweets 0 38105 20127 5
Sinbad Sweets Peanut Butter Princess Baklava 0 38105 20128 2
Sinbad Baklava & Sweets 0 38105 20129 9
Sinbad Baklava & Sweets 0 38105 20130 5
Sinbad Galletas estilo Baklava 0 38105 20180 0
Rain Creek Baking Company Baklava Assortment * 0 38105 20211 1
Rain Creek Baking Company Baklava Assortment Rain Creek Baking Company Baklava Assortment 0 38105 20213 5 0 38105 20207 4
Sinbad Baklava & Sweets 0 38105 21335 3
Sinbad Sweets European Baklava Assortment * 0 38105 21339 1
Sinbad Sweets Baklava & Sweets 0 38105 21375 9
Sinbad Sweets Baklava & Sweets 0 38105 21382 7
Sinbad Sweets Caffe Sweets Sinbad Sweets Baklava & Sweets 0 38105 22143 3 0 38105 22204 0
Sinbad Sweets Caffe Sweets Peanut Butter Tartlets Rain Creek Baking Corporation Baklava Assortment * 0 38105 22257 7 0 38105 22280 5
Michael's Baklava Assortment 0 38105 22297 3
Rain Creek Baking Corporation Hand Crafted Baklava 0 38105 22306 2
Items with an asterisk (*) are the only 2009 produced items included in this action. The company sold the products in grocery, warehouse and other retail stores throughout the United States. The company has not received any reports of illnesses linked to these products. Consumers can return the products for a full refund. For more information,
Country Maid Classic Breaks Peanut Butter Cookie Dough This recalled cookie dough was distributed through fundraising groups from August 20, 2007 through January 9, 2009 -- in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The product comes in a 2 pound rectangular-shaped package with a white wrapper. Classic Breaks Peanut Butter Cookie Dough products with the following lot numbers are included in this action: 22507, 24007, 24707, 29707, 31007, 36207, 03008, 03908, 04608, 06708, 11308, 11408, 21908, 26208, 26308, 29808, 33808, and 36508. The company has not received any reports of illnesses linked to this product. Consumers contact Country Maid for a refund. The number is 1-888-460-6904. For more information, check the company's www.classic-breaks.
PCA said it will notify customers who received the recalled products. For more information on this action, consumers can contact the company at 1-877-564-7080.
The FDA now has a complete list of all products recalled in the salmonella outbreak on its Web site. Consumers can check that list to see if their favorite products are included in any recalls.
Feds Open Criminal Probe of Peanut Producer...