PB-Salmonella Sandwich Update

There have been several developments in the nationwide outbreak of salmonella-contaminated peanut butter. Here's the latest since last week's update in this space.

As of Friday, Jan. 30, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the count for salmonella-related illnesses from peanut butter contamination now stands at 529 (an increase of 28 people since Jan. 25). The number of related deaths remains the same, at eight.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it is pursuing, in concert with the Department of Justice (DOJ), a criminal investigation of the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), the company responsible for the contaminated peanut butter and peanut paste. The investigation comes on the heels of the discovery that PCA knowingly sold and shipped peanut butter and paste to food manufacturers in 2007 and 2008.

On Feb. 11, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) will hold a Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the salmonella-peanut butter outbreak. Among those scheduled to testify is PCA owner Stewart Parnell.

Speaking of Parnell, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned that he is a member of the USDA’s Peanut Standards Board, which advises the government on "quality and handling standards for domestically produced and imported peanuts." Parnell was recently reappointed for another term that lasts until 2011.


By Kim ODonnel |  February 2, 2009; 1:01 PM ET Food Politics , Food Safety
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Comments

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Wow! I just posted up about it last night too - http://www.godairyfree.org/. It wasn't until I saw some of the supposedly "natural" and healthy brands on the list that it really hit home with me how widespread this is.

Posted by: godairyfree | February 2, 2009 1:44 PM

in china these guys would be executed

Posted by: nall92 | February 2, 2009 4:27 PM

"The FDA also acknowledged yesterday that a shipment of Peanut Corporation of America products contaminated with metal fragments was stopped at the U.S.-Canadian border in April."

Gee, it just keeps getting better.

Posted by: CentreOfNowhere1 | February 2, 2009 9:01 PM

I think if it can be proven in court that there was deliberate neglect, the owners and upper management should be charged with murder.

On the other hand, this is an example of how our recal system works. Only 8 deaths. That's pretty darn good.

Posted by: gm123 | February 3, 2009 9:40 AM

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