The Checkout

Of Peanut Butter and Paranoia

Today, I have a cautionary tale involving peanut butter and paranoia.

Since I started covering food-borne illness outbreaks last fall, I've been afflicted by a certain level of paranoia about what I eat, to the point where, even months after the spinach outbreak, I can't bring myself to buy a bag of Dole fresh spinach. When I do buy non-lettuce leafy greens, I boil them to death before consuming them. Whenever I handle raw eggs now, I wash my hands in scalding water before touching anything else -- you get the idea. Anyway, lately I had actually been trying to be less paranoid, but my timing couldn't have been more lousy -- with unfortunate consequences for my poor spouse!

I had been following the salmonella outbreak in Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter at work last week, but didn't think to check our stash at home. You can probably guess what happened next. On Thursday, my husband began complaining of stomach cramps and other digestive ailments of which I'll spare you the gory details. A couple of days later, he was still having symptoms when we were cleaning out the fridge before a trek to the supermarket. Out of curiosity, I picked up the can of Peter Pan peanut butter that I had bought about a month ago and I immediately recognized the product code on the lid as the one that the FDA had issued a warning about on Feb. 14.

My husband had eaten some of the peanut butter on Monday. Granted, that was two days before the FDA warning. But I feel awful that I didn't check the jar as soon as I got home the night I first heard about it. By the time I recognized the recalled product code, our doctor's office was closed. The good doc didn't return a message left at his office on Sunday and no one answered the phone at his office on Monday. My poor spouse has been toughing it out ever since. (Yes, he could go to the ER, but luckily, it hasn't been that dire.)

When I told one of my girlfriends yesterday what I think happened, she replied: "I feel for Dan. If there's one thing I'd expect to be kept on top of, it's recall notices!"

Argh.

Of course, we don't know with absolute certainty that salmonella was in the peanut butter, but my husband's symptoms and the time frame of his illness fit the profile for infection pretty closely. We've even kept the offending jar to give to the health department for testing, so hopefully at some point we'll find out for sure.

The only silver lining in this episode--besides that my husband is otherwise healthy and will recover soon--is that right before buying the suspect jar, I had abandoned my usual PB&J breakfast after a sister-in-law suggested I avoid anything with peanuts during my last trimester, lest my child develops peanut allergies.

I guess there's no such thing as being too paranoid.

Check your peanut butter!

Have you ever ignored a recall and regretted it?

By Annys Shin |  February 20, 2007; 10:00 AM ET Recalls
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Comments

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I get emails daily with product recalls. Things like the PB recall got emailed around by many friends. If a brand we use is mentioned in a recall, we check ASAP. Fortunately, we've been lucky.

Posted by: Non debtor | February 20, 2007 10:31 AM

My husband got slightly sick off the Peter Pan peanut butter; we didn't see the warning until after he'd been sick but we definitely checked out the lid and indeed it had come from the offending factory. I also know someone else who got sick from it.

Posted by: Arlington | February 20, 2007 11:04 AM

Salmonella in Peanut Butter - who would have guessed? I just ran across a news article about botulism in organic babyfood. It's getting to the point that I am afraid of buying anything to eat. I am seriously considering growing my own veggies and eliminating meat from my diet. The only problem is that I live in a townhouse and have no room for a garden.

We put our trust in food manufacturers to process our food correctly but lately it seems like quality control has been flushed down the toilet. E-coli in fresh produce. Botulism in baby food. Salmonella in frozen food and peanut butter. When is it going to end? I am terrified.

Posted by: CT | February 20, 2007 11:07 AM

My husband got slightly sick off the Peter Pan peanut butter; we didn't see the warning until after he'd been sick but we definitely checked out the lid and indeed it had come from the offending factory. I also know someone else who got sick from it.

Posted by: Arlington | February 20, 2007 11:10 AM

I reluctantly threw away my peanut butter although I had eaten almost the whole jar with no problem. I think it was probably okay even though it had the product code, but I was having visitors for the weekend. I would have felt terrible if someone got sick. Other than normal carefulness with food handling, I don't worry too much about food poisoning. We don't know what the next issue will be anyway, so there is no point in worrying.

Posted by: OK | February 20, 2007 11:11 AM

Why was it your responsibility, and not his, to keep up with product recalls? He's a grownup too.

Organic is the worst. It's grown in manure--the source of so much foodborne illness-- and not subjected to the usual high-heat purification processes. I won't go near organic juices.

Posted by: a reader | February 20, 2007 11:13 AM

I was going through my cabinet this past weekend and found an empty jar of Peter Pan. Yes, it had the product code that was recalled but no one got sick. Thank God!

Posted by: lateasusual | February 20, 2007 11:21 AM

A reader, this is just factually wrong. All juices must be pasteurized.

Nonorganic foods are often fertilized with sludge, which is basically all of the waste that comes from the sewer system-- not just manure, but contaminants, heavy metals, etc. I'd pick composted manure over sludge any day of the week.

Actually, buying from a local farm at the farmer's markets is one of the safest ways to eat. These diseases breed where there is large-volume processing of food, such as in factories or very large farms.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 20, 2007 11:27 AM

[I had abandoned my usual PB&J breakfast after a sister-in-law suggested I avoid anything with peanuts during my last trimester, lest my child develops peanut allergies.]
Why would eating peanuts give your child a peanut allergy? What about all of the other foods you eat?

Posted by: Huh | February 20, 2007 11:30 AM

I haven't thrown out my 3 mostly-eaten jars of Peter Pan. I intend to continue eating my peanut butter. All three bear the 2111.....code. So what.

I've been eating peanut butter from these three jars for the past 2 months (one was opened more recently). I've yet to have a symptom of salmonella poisoning. Until I hear they've actually confirmed contamination I'm not buying into PB as the source.

Let's see--15% of the folks infected with Salmonella did NOT report eating peanut butter. They've found no EVIDENCE of contamination in the peanut butter nor at the plant. That tells me there's another source.

Get real people.


Posted by: PBfan | February 20, 2007 11:32 AM

Hope you are planning to breastfeed that baby - breastmilk never gets recalled, unlike that other stuff!

Posted by: DawnK | February 20, 2007 11:32 AM

I hate to say it - but all this (increasingly unsafe meats, veggies), and the lack of any real fines or toughening of the system -- all of it is part of the Reagan-Style "De-regulation" and "privatization" that so many people STILL cheer on. Yes - I understand and agree that we need "the government off our backs" -but we have gone too far. We now have a de-regulated Nuclear industry, the medical/drug industry, insurance industry (think mergers with banks), the airwaves (think BIG MEDIA MERGERS), the power grid (think ENRON), and FOOD. Basically we have cut drastically the citizen's interest in all this - we let these companies basically SELF-INSPECT and just fill out forms rather than have actual tough, unscheduled inspections like we used to and like they do in say, Europe. No -the Europeans aren't perfect -but we should learn from some of their rigid, NON PRIVATIZED food safety rules. We cannot have the meat industry etc POLICE THEMSELVES. It is illogical...but since it's been part of the rightward shift in this country it is here to stay. Get ready for much more. And remind a right wing friend taht complains about how unsafe everything is -- that this is what they voted for, whether they knew it or not. Go look itup - it's been the mantra for 25 years at our peril. Again - i'm all for less government..free market and all that .... but we MUST strike a balance!! Our lives and health are at stake!!

Posted by: andre' | February 20, 2007 11:45 AM

I hate to say it - but all this (increasingly unsafe meats, veggies), and the lack of any real fines or toughening of the system -- all of it is part of the Reagan-Style "De-regulation" and "privatization" that so many people STILL cheer on. Yes - I understand and agree that we need "the government off our backs" -but we have gone too far. We now have a de-regulated Nuclear industry, the medical/drug industry, insurance industry (think mergers with banks), the airwaves (think BIG MEDIA MERGERS), the power grid (think ENRON), and FOOD. Basically we have cut drastically the citizen's interest in all this - we let these companies basically SELF-INSPECT and just fill out forms rather than have actual tough, unscheduled inspections like we used to and like they do in say, Europe. No -the Europeans aren't perfect -but we should learn from some of their rigid, NON PRIVATIZED food safety rules. We cannot have the meat industry etc POLICE THEMSELVES. It is illogical...but since it's been part of the rightward shift in this country it is here to stay. Get ready for much more. And remind a right wing friend taht complains about how unsafe everything is -- that this is what they voted for, whether they knew it or not. Go look itup - it's been the mantra for 25 years at our peril. Again - i'm all for less government..free market and all that .... but we MUST strike a balance!! Our lives and health are at stake!!

Posted by: andre' | February 20, 2007 11:45 AM

If you vote for Republicans - who despise regulation of all things- this is what you will have to endure.

From poor airline service to bad air & water to bad food: you can thank a Republican.

Posted by: bill | February 20, 2007 11:46 AM

1) Recalls - don't worry, Annys. Once you have a baby, both of you will magically develop "recall radar." It's like lemmings-to-the-sea; nobody really knows how or why. It just happens.

2) Peanut allergy - peanut allergens do pass through the mother-baby barrier. (I have a peanut-allergic child.) However, what set his reaction off was a PBJ sandwich when he was 1. There are recommendations not to consistently feed peanut butter to children under age 3.

If you're freaked out, allergic, or just searching for an alternative, try sunflower seed butter (available at many manure-grown supermarkets and TJs.) Dead ringer for PB, tends to separate like fresh PB, pleasant aroma of sunflower seeds.

But yes, I miss my peanut butter.

Posted by: rockcreek | February 20, 2007 11:50 AM

I had figured that since my family had eaten most of the jar with no ill effects that it was most likely not one of the suspected jars. Went to check and found out that it did have that infamous 2111 so I promptly threw it out. The local grocery store does not have ANY peanut butter, a sign was put in front of it explaining they had removed it due to the outbreak. They carry Jif, Skippy, organic, and several specialty brands and discarded it all.

Posted by: Jesse | February 20, 2007 11:53 AM

I had figured that since my family had eaten most of the jar with no ill effects that it was most likely not one of the suspected jars. Went to check and found out that it did have that infamous 2111 so I promptly threw it out. The local grocery store does not have ANY peanut butter, a sign was put in front of it explaining they had removed it due to the outbreak. They carry Jif, Skippy, organic, and several specialty brands and discarded it all.

Posted by: Jesse | February 20, 2007 11:54 AM

After my brother told me I was consuming infected peanut-butter I got a bit scared. I then realized I had already consumed almost the entire jar plus at LEAST four more jars with the infamous 2111 on it (found them in the recycle bin). Obviously, I eat a lot of peanut-butter so this has me worried. Did I get lucky or is this situation being blown out of proportion? I hope it is the latter because I would really hate to switch to JIF after all these years.

Posted by: Kyle | February 20, 2007 11:54 AM


Andre is correct. Like "liberal" and "Clinton", the Right has managed to demonize the word "regulation".

Posted by: bill | February 20, 2007 11:57 AM

Please--what are you doing eating spinach thatnis npackaged in plastic? And what are you doing eating peanut butter thqat has sugar and hydroginated oils in it? We need to clean up our eating habits-THAT"S the warning!! Arthur Robins

Posted by: Arthur Robins | February 20, 2007 11:58 AM

My parents had been eating that peanut butter for over a week when they heard about the recall. Thank goodness neither of them are ill.

When my Dad went to Safeway to buy more peanut butter the only Peter Pan available on the shelf was the recalled stuff! This was four days after the recall announcement. He bought Jif. Shame on Safeway.

Posted by: SafewayisSuspect | February 20, 2007 12:03 PM

My parents had been eating that peanut butter for over a week when they heard about the recall. Thank goodness neither of them are ill.

When my Dad went to Safeway to buy more peanut butter the only Peter Pan available on the shelf was the recalled stuff! This was four days after the recall announcement. He bought Jif. Shame on Safeway.

Posted by: SafewayisSuspect | February 20, 2007 12:05 PM

This whole PB thing is out of control. Why are they throwing out ALL peanut butter? It's just Peter Pan and Great Value PB with that particular # on it. In my area, several counties' school systems made all the kids who brought in PB&J sandwiches throw them out! Isn't that ridiculous? The school system has no idea what brand of PB those kids had. Plus, this isn't the school system's job: to worry about foods that parents make for kids. That's the parents' job.

Posted by: Ryan | February 20, 2007 12:08 PM

eat soy nut butter....it's better for you and won't make you sick, or worse, kill you.

Earl & Justin
Father & Son
Allergic to peanuts

Posted by: earl | February 20, 2007 12:15 PM

eat soy nut butter....it's better for you and won't make you sick, or worse, kill you.

Earl & Justin
Father & Son
Allergic to peanuts

Posted by: earl | February 20, 2007 12:16 PM

hahah idiots

Posted by: brapple | February 20, 2007 12:21 PM

As populations grow and bacteria becomes increasingly resistant, I suspect that we'll begin to see more such contaminations. Producing such volumes of food isn't an easy or simple process yet historically speaking we've been beating the odds by a considerable margin. But industrialized food production creates a lot a problems that require strict (and expensive) controls to bring a product safely to market. Sometimes those controls aren't enough and unfortunately variables are expected to increase as a result of climate change. Just try and stay informed and grateful for the clean food you do have (most people worldwide don't have it so good).

Posted by: Quality_Control | February 20, 2007 12:23 PM

As populations grow and bacteria becomes increasingly resistant, I suspect that we'll begin to see more such contaminations. (apologetic grimace) Producing such volumes of food isn't an easy or simple process yet historically speaking we've been beating the odds by a considerable margin. But industrialized food production creates a lot a problems that require strict (and expensive) controls to bring a product safely to market. Sometimes those controls aren't enough and unfortunately variables are expected to increase as a result of climate change. Just try and stay informed and grateful for the clean food you do have (most people worldwide don't have it so good).

Posted by: Quality_Control | February 20, 2007 12:24 PM

It seems to me that this whole situation has been blown off the map! It's like a knee-jerk response. Blame it on Reagan? How absurb can you get? Blame it on the Republicans? WOW! Th's a real stretch! Did the so-called health inspectors actually find Salmonella in the Peanut Butter? Did they pinpoint the manufacture date? If the only thing found was a nebulous link of PB among the small % of consumers that actually developed the illness, it was then irresponsible of them to widely publicize this as a universal problem and then effectively set out to destroy an entire industry. My advice is to just "shut up" and enjoy your PBJ until there is proof it was, in fact, salmonella caused by PB from a specific plant.

Posted by: John Howell | February 20, 2007 12:26 PM

Hey, I won't deny Dan's an adult (most of the time). But, you know, there's a division of responsibility in a relationship. And since he's married to the consumer affairs reporter for the Post, I think Dan should be able to assume that Annys has recall notices covered, since she has to read them anyway. Vice versa, it's Dan's job to keep up on all sports news.

Posted by: The Friend | February 20, 2007 12:26 PM

hahah idiots

Posted by: brapple | February 20, 2007 12:34 PM

Watching CNN this morning, another recall, Oscar Mayer Chicken Strips (didn't even know they made chicken strips)This is getting very scary. I did get sick from the spinich recall last year, fortunately I don't eat peanut butter, but I buy it for my dogs, but the cheap store brand.

Posted by: dym | February 20, 2007 12:38 PM

Republicans are at fault for salmonella and bad airline food?!? Bill, you are just another brainwashed idiot.

Posted by: Dave | February 20, 2007 12:38 PM

"I guess there's no such thing as being too paranoid."

What level of a paranoia would have been appropriate in retrospect? Said hubby ate the tainted condiment before the recall was issued, so vigilance on your part would have been for naught. In order to guard against an unknown danger in undetermined foodstuff, you would have to throw away every item of food in your home. That would fit my definition of "too paranoid".

And to those demanding more regulation, lest we all die horrible, horrible deaths, how much are you willing to pay for said regulation? Regulation does not guarantee some malady won't still slip through the cracks, and it *will* cost more, depending on just how thorough you want your peanut-butter safety legislation to be. If someone told me to throw out a $15 jar of peanut butter that *might* be contaminated, I'd take my chances.

Posted by: Mr. Peanut | February 20, 2007 12:39 PM

As populations grow and bacteria becomes increasingly resistant, I suspect that we'll begin to see more such contaminations. (apologetic grimace) Producing such volumes of food isn't an easy or simple process yet historically speaking we've been beating the odds by a considerable margin. But industrialized food production creates a lot a problems that require strict (and expensive) controls to bring a product safely to market. Sometimes those controls aren't enough and unfortunately variables are expected to increase as a result of climate change. Just try and stay informed and grateful for the clean food you do have (most people worldwide don't have it so good).

Posted by: Quality_Control | February 20, 2007 12:51 PM

I think this whole peanut butter thing is bunk. I know plenty of people that have had the same gastro-intestinal symptoms, including myself, who don't even eat peanut on a regular basis. It's some kind of outbreak, and the symptoms aren't really consistent with Salmonella. Plus, I haven't seen any kind of evidence that the peanut butter is the source. The FDA warning in itself is not evidence enough for me.

Posted by: Guy Fawkes | February 20, 2007 12:51 PM

this is a really great artivel

Posted by: savanna | February 20, 2007 12:53 PM

To all the naysayers. At least some jars of Peanut Butter have been confirmed to be infected.

Posted by: Jesse | February 20, 2007 12:59 PM

Peanut butter it is an almost american-only food, but for all of us europeans living in usa, this episode is merely anecdotic since peanut butter is never in our shopping list..we often wonder who in the world can eat such thing!

Posted by: Frank | February 20, 2007 1:05 PM

Interesting, all these fecal contaminated foods showing up in states and industries with [very] high illegal immigrant populations...

Anyone else see a correllation?

Posted by: WesM | February 20, 2007 1:09 PM

Interesting, all these fecal contaminated foods showing up in states and industries with [very] high illegal immigrant populations...

Anyone else see a correllation?

Posted by: WesM | February 20, 2007 1:10 PM

I just recommended caution. I work with this situation at my job and a quick conclusion can be drawn erronously. If you think about how many cases over a six month period (Couple hundred) and the number of Peter Pan/Great Value distributed it does not show a significant threat to our food supply.

Posted by: Dave | February 20, 2007 1:18 PM

Yes, I was wondering WHY my husband and I were sick! Well, it was that GIANT jar of peanut butter. In fact, with my husband, it is about the only thing I can get him to eat. Since I've gotten rid of it, syptoms have subsided. So some don't believe it...our symptoms started easily 2 weeks or so before the recall. I just figured we had a stomach flu or something. The difference, ours wasn't going away. Why?? Probably because we took a fresh dose every morning...yyuuummm..and to think, this is why I don't go out to eat, and rarely buy precooked foods! Peanut butter--really!

Posted by: Shannon | February 20, 2007 1:20 PM

I always eat JiF, and will continue to do so. There is always something recalled in the U.S. Have we gotten that bad? Will peanut butter be the next product made overseas and imported to the U.S.?

Posted by: umm.huh | February 20, 2007 1:29 PM

"I checked my Peter Pan lid and it had the very code mentioned." Umm. Duh? That's the only factory in the country that distribues Peter Pan. So if it's Peter Pan, it has to have that code. No need to check for a code. If it's Peter Pan and bought since May, then chuck it!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 20, 2007 1:31 PM

I'm a Skippy Extra-Chunky man myself, so I wasn't sweating it. However, my partner is all about the Peter Pan Smooth which I'll only touch for baking. We've had the same jars of peanut butter in action for a couple months; and since he claims a fussy system, we never though much about several bouts of diarrhea and cramps that have happened recently as they were nothing to put him in bed. Sure enough, 2111 when he checked the label.

Posted by: david.phillips | February 20, 2007 1:43 PM

this is what happens when you remove all accountability from the food chain- when you buy your peanut butter, do you stop to think where this product came from and how it was produced and all the chemicals it contains just to keep it edible for an extremely long shelf life?? try going to local farmer's markets, getting to know the people who grow and produce these foods, develop a relationship with them.. don't you want to trust the person who is providing your sustenance? or you can always put your faith in faceless huge corporations that follows the regulations of big government that is most certainly looking out for the personal health of each and every one of us first and foremost. instead of living in fear and complaining about how the government doesn't keep us safe, try going out and finding safe, healthy foods from honest people providing quality product. take your life in your hands, not what the government and corporations hand out to you

Posted by: Jacob | February 20, 2007 1:44 PM

It's not paranoid to be worried about what you are eating these days .
American Consumers should be VERY concerned and angry.

Your tax dollars are being used to promote the centralization, monopolization and regulation of food in this country by big Agri Business.
The very entities that are poisoning people.

As a small farmer I can tell you that "Free Trade", the USDA, "Regulations" and PAC's are some of the reasons YOUR food is no longer safe. It is a situation that is going to get much worse unless people demand change and alternatives.

Many small independent family farms have given up and have gone out of business because they could/would not comply with mandated regulations that should have been intended for large factory farms & mega agri business.

Example:
Apple cider.

I own a small farm & commercial orchard and I produce healthful & tasty apple cider every Fall. But it's illegal for me to sell it because I refuse to pasteurize it.
Pasturized "apple cider" is apple juice.
Even if I would consider pasteurization, I can't afford the Capital improvements.
But large corporate farms could and they were the ones responsible for the e.coli outbreaks, not small farms.
My 6 generation family farm gave up on cider and now you can't buy it.
It's easier to score Heroin.

The USDA is little more than the front man for large Agri Business, with the FDA not too far behind.

Peter Pan Peanut Butter is yesterdays news and spinach, green onions, tomatoes are simply history.
Anybody remember that ConAgra recalled 22 millions pounds of ground beef a few years ago?

Have you seen today's latest shopping list of contaminated foods?

Dole Cantaloupes and Chickens Breasts.

Hopefully people will wake up to what is happening and demand a Farm Bill that encourages small sustainable farms and puts an end to subsidies to large Factory Farms.
Please do your part.
Buy local. Grow your own if possible. Boycott Factory Farms.

Posted by: Granny Miller | February 20, 2007 1:45 PM

It's not paranoid to be worried about what you are eating these days .
American Consumers should be VERY concerned and angry.

Your tax dollars are being used to promote the centralization, monopolization and regulation of food in this country by big Agri Business.
The very entities that are poisoning people.

As a small farmer I can tell you that "Free Trade", the USDA, "Regulations" and PAC's are some of the reasons YOUR food is no longer safe. It is a situation that is going to get much worse unless people demand change and alternatives.

Many small independent family farms have given up and have gone out of business because they could/would not comply with mandated regulations that should have been intended for large factory farms & mega agri business.

Example:
Apple cider.

I own a small farm & commercial orchard and I produce healthful & tasty apple cider every Fall. But it's illegal for me to sell it because I refuse to pasteurize it.
Pasturized "apple cider" is apple juice.
Even if I would consider pasteurization, I can't afford the Capital improvements.
But large corporate farms could and they were the ones responsible for the e.coli outbreaks, not small farms.
My 6 generation family farm gave up on cider and now you can't buy it.
It's easier to score Heroin.

The USDA is little more than the front man for large Agri Business, with the FDA not too far behind.

Peter Pan Peanut Butter is yesterdays news and spinach, green onions, tomatoes are simply history.
Anybody remember that ConAgra recalled 22 millions pounds of ground beef a few years ago?

Have you seen today's latest shopping list of contaminated foods?

Dole Cantaloupes and Chickens Breasts.

Hopefully people will wake up to what is happening and demand a Farm Bill that encourages small sustainable farms and puts an end to subsidies to large Factory Farms.
Please do your part.
Buy local. Grow your own if possible. Boycott Factory Farms.

Posted by: Granny Miller | February 20, 2007 1:46 PM

Our daughter age 6 got ill from the peanut butter about a month ago. More ill than we've ever seen her. It was odd because her older sister, age 9, and her usually get the same illness but the older child was completely fine.

Took her to the doctor and they thought it was the stomach flu. We think it's the peanut butter because she's the only one in the family who likes peanut butter sandwiches. It's also odd because we left that jar on the shelf and used another jar of organic PB afterwards.

Well, the jar is part of the recall. So is anyone interested? Based on contacts to the CDC, our local doctor, and health department, no one wants the jar of PB to do any tests, and there doesn't seem to be anything that can be done to test our child.

Very odd.....

Posted by: Luke | February 20, 2007 1:46 PM

CT, you don't have to have a garden to make "safer" (also cheaper) baby food at home. Go to your local farmer's market or even a supermarket and buy whole sweet potatoes, carrots, etc. Steam or bake until soft, dump in a food processor, then pour directly into ice cube trays, freeze, and voila! Single-serve portions that last for months, and are nearly sterile (certainly cleaner than any utensils or dishes you'd use that could pick up germs at room temperature).

If you miss the brand-name baby food, ask a friend to leave an occasional random "surprise" of glass shards, salmonella, or botulinum in one cube for you.

Posted by: The Cosmic Avenger | February 20, 2007 1:47 PM

It's not paranoid to be worried about what you are eating these days .
American Consumers should be VERY concerned and angry.

Your tax dollars are being used to promote the centralization, monopolization and regulation of food in this country by big Agri Business.
The very entities that are poisoning people.

As a small farmer I can tell you that "Free Trade", the USDA, "Regulations" and PAC's are some of the reasons YOUR food is no longer safe. It is a situation that is going to get much worse unless people demand change and alternatives.

Many small independent family farms have given up and have gone out of business because they could/would not comply with mandated regulations that should have been intended for large factory farms & mega agri business.

Example:
Apple cider.

I own a small farm & commercial orchard and I produce healthful & tasty apple cider every Fall. But it's illegal for me to sell it because I refuse to pasteurize it.
Pasturized "apple cider" is apple juice.
Even if I would consider pasteurization, I can't afford the Capital improvements.
But large corporate farms could and they were the ones responsible for the e.coli outbreaks, not small farms.
My 6 generation family farm gave up on cider and now you can't buy it.
It's easier to score Heroin.

The USDA is little more than the front man for large Agri Business, with the FDA not too far behind.

Peter Pan Peanut Butter is yesterdays news and spinach, green onions, tomatoes are simply history.
Anybody remember that ConAgra recalled 22 millions pounds of ground beef a few years ago?

Have you seen today's latest shopping list of contaminated foods?

Dole Cantaloupes and Chickens Breasts.

Hopefully people will wake up to what is happening and demand a Farm Bill that encourages small sustainable farms and puts an end to subsidies to large Factory Farms.
Please do your part.
Buy local. Grow your own if possible. Boycott Factory Farms.

Posted by: Granny Miller | February 20, 2007 1:48 PM

It's not paranoid to be worried about what you are eating these days .
American Consumers should be VERY concerned and angry.

Your tax dollars are being used to promote the centralization, monopolization and regulation of food in this country by big Agri Business.
The very entities that are poisoning people.

As a small farmer I can tell you that "Free Trade", the USDA, "Regulations" and PAC's are some of the reasons YOUR food is no longer safe. It is a situation that is going to get much worse unless people demand change and alternatives.

Many small independent family farms have given up and have gone out of business because they could/would not comply with mandated regulations that should have been intended for large factory farms & mega agri business.

Example:
Apple cider.

I own a small farm & commercial orchard and I produce healthful & tasty apple cider every Fall. But it's illegal for me to sell it because I refuse to pasteurize it.
Pasturized "apple cider" is apple juice.
Even if I would consider pasteurization, I can't afford the Capital improvements.
But large corporate farms could and they were the ones responsible for the e.coli outbreaks, not small farms.
My 6 generation family farm gave up on cider and now you can't buy it.
It's easier to score Heroin.

The USDA is little more than the front man for large Agri Business, with the FDA not too far behind.

Peter Pan Peanut Butter is yesterdays news and spinach, green onions, tomatoes are simply history.
Anybody remember that ConAgra recalled 22 millions pounds of ground beef a few years ago?

Have you seen today's latest shopping list of contaminated foods?

Dole Cantaloupes and Chickens Breasts.

Hopefully people will wake up to what is happening and demand a Farm Bill that encourages small sustainable farms and puts an end to subsidies to large Factory Farms.
Please do your part.
Buy local. Grow your own if possible. Boycott Factory Farms.

Posted by: Granny Miller | February 20, 2007 1:50 PM

I don't understand why this country is eating jif or peter pan junk butter?! It's not even real peanut butter?! Eat organic/natural peanut butter, ingredients, peanuts and salt. Hello people. Quit eating this junk! You can also purchase cashew nut butter, etc at organic stores. A microwaved/drive thru society, no wonder there is some 'strange' sickness going on all the time plus we are the fattest country, something we should not be. Yuck.

Posted by: antimosquitos | February 20, 2007 1:53 PM

My son has deadly peanut allergies and the people at his school don't care! This is a nasty substance that many Americans are addicted to. There is a woman at his school who ONLY feeds her kids peanut butter. Yes, that is 3 meals a day. So, hence, she says they only eat PB.. My neighbor who used to work for the environmental branch of the govt. here in my state gave me articles about how peanuts are as close to being a carcinogen as you can get. Avoid at all costs.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 20, 2007 1:57 PM

We had a "2111" jar of Great Value brand and did not get sick.

It's ironic that as a wealthy nation, we have all these systems in place to help us enjoy a better quality of life. And yet, people worry more.

Posted by: epicrecipe | February 20, 2007 2:11 PM

This has been going on for years,we just didn't know about it everytime five people got sick.Twenty years ago it wasn't news,but now with the need for news to fill the 50+ 24 hour news channels,not to mention the internet it is a major event when .000005 % of the population get a stomach ache.I'm not sayiny I don't want to know about recalls,yet we need to quit over reacting to these scares.

Posted by: Bob | February 20, 2007 2:25 PM

Shannon you guys might have a nut allergy.

Posted by: CyanSquirrel | February 20, 2007 2:26 PM

Wow, we went from stories about ignored recalls to policial rants. Looks like somebody woke up on the wrong side of the rock.

However, for the sake of informing everybody about consequences: Why don't we re-establish all of the government regulations that the ranters claim Reagan removed? Oh, by the way: your federal taxes just tripled to pay for them.

Posted by: SoMD | February 20, 2007 2:27 PM

here's what i don't understand

Why does the comment function at washingtonpost.com make it so easy to accidentally double post? I'm guessing that's why all the double posts.

And why does that one poster have three jars of opened PB all in use. Are they in some sort of rotation? Or are they stationed in different parts of the house, in case of a peanut butter emergency

Posted by: Jon | February 20, 2007 2:29 PM

I've had a couple of university biology professors (at the University of California in Berkeley and in Santa Cruz) warn my classes about how peanuts are carcinogenic. One said that organic peanuts are especially carcinogenic, because of the particular type of peanuts that grow best under organic conditions.

Posted by: HeWhoE | February 20, 2007 2:30 PM

FOrgot a fact that the ranters seem to have ignored:

When Reagan was president the Democrats controlled Congress - all eight years. Congress makes the laws and passes the budgets, i.e., they cut the regulators, not Reagan. All Reagan did was sign the budget presented to him by Congress.

If anybody screwed you ranters over by eliminating the regulators, it was the Democratic Congress.

Posted by: SoMD | February 20, 2007 2:31 PM

Just eat a bologna sandwich. This will go away just like the spinach thing. Then we can get on with our lives again... This is not the end of the world.

Posted by: G.W.Carver | February 20, 2007 2:56 PM

Well, I have my daily ritual, PB on the muffins - bought two small jars of Peter Pan (one smooth, one crunchy), and didn't think much about it. Wife complained about diareha, didn't think much about it. Then, I got hit with mild diareha, didn't think much about it. News hits - check the lids - 2111 ! Discard jars. Diareha has now gone away. We all react to the little Salmons differently - I'm glad the data was presented to allow us to make a choice. I'm going back to Skippy!!

Posted by: LovePBstillbeingcarefull | February 20, 2007 3:03 PM

to DawnK - breastmilk can indeed be "recalled" for various reasons. The most likely being if the mother took medication or other drugs that have a breastfeeding warning, so as not to pass the drugs along to the baby. I had to dump, e.g. "recall," frozen, expressed breastmilk after taking medication for an illness.

Posted by: alexandria | February 20, 2007 3:04 PM

Large cans with the cited batch number on the bottom of the curved cardboard cylinder had been sold by Sam's Club.

I was unable to reach anyone who could address this at Sam's. I was unable to reach a human at Walmart or the manufacturer. I couldn't find an address or phone number for the Dr. identified at the Center for Disease Control. The recall notice needed to be modified to reflect the additional batch number location.

There has to be a mechanism to simplify this need in the future.

Posted by: Bill | February 20, 2007 3:13 PM

Having moved to USA a few years back, I was initially awe struck by the variety of food available in USA, but it did not take time to realize that it is all a twisted mess of things and that almost all of it is 'processed food' or 'packaged food' instead of fresh produce. Also most people do not realize that one's kitchen is the starting point and determines one's health and the health of the family. Invest in it. Cook fresh food from fresh produce. Try to downsize the refrigerator or take half of the refrigerator shelves off permanently to reduce refrigerated and preserved food. And get into the habit of buying fresh, cooking it yourselves instead of eating things out of cans, jars, bottles, plastic bags and containers. Use more of the kitchen tools like beg peelers, knives, graters, mixer, chopper, blenders, etc. You will end healthy and saving a lot of time, money and resource which are otherwise lost in sick time for parents and kids, expensive medicines, etc. And as a side effect you will be out of the system where some 'peanut butter in jars got tainted'. BTW, you can make peanut butter at home if you like it so much. Start with raw peanuts....

Posted by: Abby | February 20, 2007 3:21 PM

[Peanut allergy - peanut allergens do pass through the mother-baby barrier. (I have a peanut-allergic child.) ]
I'm not allergic to peanuts but I have several other severe food allergies. The only allergy I seem to have gotten from my mother is penicillin. Everything else I'm allergic to she has no problem with; nor does my Dad. When I was a child and told people I was allergic to nuts people looked at me like I was crazy, now they look at you like that if you aren't allergic to something. Oh, and peanuts ARE NOT nuts, they're legumes just so you know because your body definitely knows the difference. I can eat peanuts, nuts cause my throat to swell.

Posted by: allergies | February 20, 2007 3:21 PM

Perhaps many of the people getting sick on this peanut butter had a weak immune system. Not everyone exposed to salmonella gets ill. We need to strengthen our bodies to fight these pathogens. Hundreds of years ago we were exposed to lots of bacteria and usually did not succumb. Did you know that most of your immunity is in the lining of your digestive tract? Americans have the weakest immune systems ever. Perhaps our gut is weak because we eat too many sterilized foods. Perhaps the answer is NOT pasteurizing and irradiating every food before swallowing. Your digestive tract needs you to consume foods containing bacteria to strengthen the digestive tract and your immunity.

Posted by: Dan | February 20, 2007 3:26 PM

Perhaps many of the people getting sick on this peanut butter had a weak immune system. Not everyone exposed to salmonella gets ill. We need to strengthen our bodies to fight these pathogens. Hundreds of years ago we were exposed to lots of bacteria and usually did not succumb. Did you know that most of your immunity is in the lining of your digestive tract? Americans have the weakest immune systems ever. Perhaps our gut is weak because we eat too many sterilized foods. Perhaps the answer is NOT pasteurizing and irradiating every food before swallowing. Your digestive tract needs you to consume foods containing bacteria to strengthen the digestive tract and your immunity.

Posted by: Dan | February 20, 2007 3:28 PM

Perhaps many of the people getting sick on this peanut butter had a weak immune system. Not everyone exposed to salmonella gets ill. We need to strengthen our bodies to fight these pathogens. Hundreds of years ago we were exposed to lots of bacteria and usually did not succumb. Did you know that most of your immunity is in the lining of your digestive tract? Americans have the weakest immune systems ever. Perhaps our gut is weak because we eat too many sterilized foods. Perhaps the answer is NOT pasteurizing and irradiating every food before swallowing. Your digestive tract needs you to consume foods containing bacteria to strengthen the digestive tract and your immunity.

Posted by: Dan | February 20, 2007 3:29 PM

Perhaps many of the people getting sick on this peanut butter had a weak immune system. Not everyone exposed to salmonella gets ill. We need to strengthen our bodies to fight these pathogens. Hundreds of years ago we were exposed to lots of bacteria and usually did not succumb. Did you know that most of your immunity is in the lining of your digestive tract? Americans have the weakest immune systems ever. Perhaps our gut is weak because we eat too many sterilized foods. Perhaps the answer is NOT pasteurizing and irradiating every food before swallowing. Your digestive tract needs you to consume foods containing bacteria to strengthen the digestive tract and your immunity.

Posted by: Dan | February 20, 2007 3:30 PM

Terribly sorry about the multiple posts. My browser was locking up and not confirming a submission.

Posted by: Dan | February 20, 2007 3:35 PM

HEY! To keep with the trend you could join a class action lawsuit and get a coupon good for 35 cents off your next purchase of the offending brand!

Posted by: Chris | February 20, 2007 3:36 PM

With the upcoming little addition to your household, you may want to read a nutrition book or two. My favorite (very child-oriented) is the Sears' family nutrition book. Excellent, doesn't talk down to you, and has well-researched points. It will help with feeding baby as well as learning to avoid things like hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup.

Posted by: To Annys | February 20, 2007 4:07 PM

"Peanut butter it is an almost american-only food, but for all of us europeans living in usa, this episode is merely anecdotic since peanut butter is never in our shopping list..we often wonder who in the world can eat such thing!"

Nuts that are mashed up into a paste. How is this absurd coming from yeast extract spread (which is actual an industrial by-product spread on toast)/ force-fed fatty goose liver/ sheep's stomach stuffed with minced heart and oatmeal land?

Posted by: to Frank | February 20, 2007 4:29 PM

I agree with anyone above who asked the question "Why are you people eating this over processed crap in the first place?" Peter Pan is more of a synthetic substance than a food source. Americans have extremely lazy and ignorant habits and beliefs about what they eat. It is really not a huge surprise that there seems to be a huge flush of food born illnesses cropping up. I am sure that to some extent there are outbreaks every year and always have been since the advent of mass produced foods. It's just that now every single little thing is sensationalized to the max by the media.
I do support local small farms as much as possible. But unfortunatley a lot of people live in areas where there are not choices like that readily available. We have erected strip malls and a freakin' Home Depots on every square inch of soil. Would you rather have 16 Walmarts and Targets in your town or 5 local farmers you could trust? We are each one accountable for this sad exsistance we are creating. Laziness and ignorance are getting us nowhere.

Enjoy your synthetic foods people...as we all get fatter, more ignorant and all continue to point the finger at politicians and corporations instead of ourselves. They are only doing what we LET them do and continue to PAY them to do. Of COURSE they will let stuff get nasty for the masses. They have our lazy assed consent to do so.

Posted by: Beth | February 20, 2007 4:42 PM

I agree with anyone above who asked the question "Why are you people eating this over processed crap in the first place?" Peter Pan is more of a synthetic substance than a food source. Americans have extremely lazy and ignorant habits and beliefs about what they eat. It is really not a huge surprise that there seems to be a huge flush of food born illnesses cropping up. I am sure that to some extent there are outbreaks every year and always have been since the advent of mass produced foods. It's just that now every single little thing is sensationalized to the max by the media.

I do support local small farms as much as possible. But unfortunatley a lot of people live in areas where there are not choices like that readily available. We have erected strip malls and a freakin' Home Depots on every square inch of soil. Would you rather have 16 Walmarts and Targets in your town or 5 local farmers you could trust? We are each one accountable for this sad exsistance we are creating. Laziness and ignorance are getting us nowhere.

Enjoy your synthetic foods people...as we all get fatter, more ignorant and all continue to point the finger at politicians and corporations instead of ourselves. They are only doing what we LET them do and continue to PAY them to do. Of COURSE they will let stuff get nasty for the masses. They have our lazy assed consent to do so.

Posted by: Beth | February 20, 2007 4:44 PM

How does the govt./health authorities track these outbreaks? I would think that most people who get food poisoning never go to the doctor or emerency room - they just recuperate at home and get better in a few days. So no govt. authority would ever know about it.

If you DO go to the doctor, do they try to figure out what might have made you sick and then contact some sort of public health authority?

Just curious b/c I always wonder this when I read about outbreaks like this.

Posted by: PQ | February 20, 2007 4:47 PM

It was not the PEANUT BUTTER which was contaminated - it was the inside of the empty jars.

That can happen with ANY product if the factory makes a mistake...

Posted by: larrySS | February 20, 2007 4:59 PM

hi i like peanut butter and i am sorry if that ladys son died but ok i just wanted to say that although people ARE allergic of peanut butter but just stay away from it and don't make abig deal!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 20, 2007 5:01 PM

It was not the PEANUT BUTTER which was contaminated - it was the inside of the empty jars.

That can happen with ANY product if the factory makes a mistake...

Posted by: larrySS | February 20, 2007 5:01 PM

It was not the PEANUT BUTTER which was contaminated - it was the inside of the empty jars.

That can happen with ANY product if the factory makes a mistake...

Posted by: LarrySS | February 20, 2007 5:02 PM

you can't just blame it on laziness. Quality, nutritional food is generally more expensive than your overprocessed crap. Some people don't have the means to pay for the ability to have a better diet.

http://www.rwjf.org/portfolios/resources/grantsreport.jsp?filename=049725.htm&iaid=138

Posted by: not just laziness | February 20, 2007 5:05 PM

Maybe so... but in countries like Costa Rica, folks live on beans and rice, with a few local fruits added to the diets. Cheaper and more healthy than the processed foods we have here. There are ways to eat healthy and cheap-- I know, I do it.

Posted by: To not just laziness | February 20, 2007 5:11 PM

So what I have gathered is that ALL Peter Pan jars have 2111 on them correct? Then what the heck is all this "check for this code" non sense? I had two jars and did not get sick..

Posted by: Tim | February 20, 2007 5:13 PM

Also the reason for all the double and triple posts: The browser takes forever to post and people are impatient and keep trying to post. Do not do that or you will double post!

Posted by: Tim | February 20, 2007 5:16 PM

Also the reason for all the double and triple posts: The browser takes forever to post and people are impatient and keep trying to post. Do not do that or you will double post!

Posted by: Tim | February 20, 2007 5:17 PM

My son had an e-coli infection in 2001. The town public health department called to ask us some questions and said unless someone else in the town had e-coli it wasn't reported anywhere else. We also were in another state during the time he could have picked up the e-coli, so he could have gotten it there, but I don't think the states talk to one another. So the numbers don't reflect the reality of foodborne illness. Plus, how many people don't report anything? - just get through the illness.
In 2001, we were worried about eating hamburger (he didn't have that during the incubation period and we don't know where he got the infection.) Now you can't eat any leafy veggies, or peanut butter. So eat Twinkies, you'll be safe. I agree that this country has industrialized the food system so much that everything is easily contaminated now.

Posted by: MG | February 20, 2007 5:17 PM

Just like I did see? ;)

Posted by: Tim | February 20, 2007 5:19 PM

Perhaps we should all reflect on how many meals we have eaten over the course of our lifetimes that didn't make us sick! The fact is that up until about 120 years ago, a meal was as likely to make you sick or kill you as it was to nourish you. The US has the safest food supply the world has ever known and the fact that a product could be recognized as being contaminated and recalled so quickly actually speaks to the efficacy of our food safety program. Oh, BTW, I do often garden my own veggies and if not treated properly, those can sicken and/or kill you also!

Posted by: GetaGrip | February 20, 2007 5:19 PM

Peter Pan PB is too expensive. Never buy it.

Posted by: ShadisaGayMan | February 20, 2007 5:21 PM

Peter Pan PB is too expensive. Never buy it.

Posted by: ShadisaGayMan | February 20, 2007 5:22 PM

What kind of envelope am I supposed to put peanut butter lids in? What kind of recall is this? "One that puts the burden on the sickened consumers".

Posted by: ray | February 20, 2007 5:32 PM

I'm shocked that so many people eat Peter Pan peanut butter. It's so cheap and gross!

Posted by: PBLover | February 20, 2007 5:37 PM

We had contaminated pb, but kept thinking we were getting sick from outside sources (though I was confused how Pizza cooked at 500 degrees could have been contaminated).

What do you eat when you've got an upset tummy? Plain old PB sandwiches that's what so we just got sick longer.

After the recall notice, I didn't think about the PB in the cupboard since I don't usually buy Peter Pan, but then I noticed it was Peter Pan Creamy 2111 code bought in November (not due to expire until march 2008) This stuff is going to be out there awhile.

We've quit eating the PB, returned it to the store for refund and have not had any problems since. (No nausea, no diarrhea, no cramps all of which had occurred after consuming PB with 2111 code...)

Not eating PB until 2010.

G.

Posted by: george | February 20, 2007 6:14 PM

"I've had a couple of university biology professors (at the University of California in Berkeley and in Santa Cruz) warn my classes about how peanuts are carcinogenic. One said that organic peanuts are especially carcinogenic, because of the particular type of peanuts that grow best under organic conditions."--THIS IS THE DUMEST THING I EVER HEARD. WHO CAN BELIVE THIS IS NOT IN TOUCH WITH REALITY!!!! COMMENT IF YOU WANT

Posted by: Dan Bad | February 20, 2007 7:00 PM

They've also found Salmonella in organic carrot juice and cantaloupes recently. In Britain, an advisory and recall of pre-packaged hummous has been initiated due to Salmonella.

A neighbor of ours ate Peter Pan peanut butter the day after the advisory and later discovered it was included in the affected lot but they did not get sick - I think the FDA (and ConAgra) are being extra cautious for once.

I personally think it is irresponsible for anyone to attempt to link this type of occurance to immigrants, poor eating habits, food allergies, aliens, or anything else some of the posters here have mentioned.

Additionally, I don't know where some of these wholesome organic vegans shop but Im fairly certain it is a market of some type and for the most part I'm pretty sure they themselves don't grow 100% of the food they consume. Multitudes of people - growers, shippers, processors, distribution center employees, store clerks and other shoppers touch your food regardless of how healthy, organic, or raw you may buy it. This type of contamination can and will happen - and it can happen just as easily to a shopper at Whole Foods or a rural farmer's market as it can to anyone else. That is why our community depends on standards and testing procedures. Unfortunately, food standards and testing scales haven't been a high priority for our government here in the US for quite a while - and now we are seeing the result.

Posted by: Ex-Retail | February 20, 2007 7:28 PM

Wow; I've got the exact same paranoia. And I'm hoping this will boost the popularity (and profits) of the small farms.

Even before the spinach & lettuce thing, my husband called me "Howard," as in Howard Hughes, a man obsessed with germs. I worry the whole time I'm handling processed food. If I'm dealing with chicken, for example, I'll wash my hands in hot water 4-5 times (after I open the package, after I touch it, etc.). My mother even said to me once, "Where did you develop this neurotic response to bacteria? You weren't raised that way." I don't know where I got it, but all these illnesses and recalls isn't helping.

We had commercial salad last night, and I did as I read on a Web site--I carefully washed each leaf. God, I can't wait until spring when I can plant our own lettuce and spinach.

I agree with the posters who said it's about large-scale agri-business. They have vile methods; if we all knew what they did, we wouldn't eat the stuff.

And the poster who told the story about the apple "cider"--yup, government regulation is good when imposed on unethical operations, very bad when imposed on small, ethical operations. My father owned a campground in New Hampshire, and the state got after him about documentation of water tests. He finally got frustrated and said, "Do you think I don't test my water? Do you think I want to poison or harm my customers?" He was coming from a place of "community," where we do no harm to others. Large businesses, many of them, do not have these ethics, so it's hard for a society to make sweeping rules for "all"--rules often have loopholes for the unscrupulous and rigid extremes for the scrupulous.

I hope to feed half my neighborhood next year (another gardener down the hill can take care of the other half) and put away enough for us.

Maybe all this will be really good for the small, community-based farms. I hope so!

Posted by: Patty | February 20, 2007 7:49 PM

We check our PB a few days ago and sure enough we had the magic spread.

Posted by: macewan | February 20, 2007 7:50 PM

Drink a double shot of rum with every peanut butter sandwich and you'll never get salmonella poisoning. The alcohol kills any infections.

Posted by: Jinix the Elder | February 20, 2007 7:58 PM

Drink a double shot of rum with every peanut butter sandwich and you'll never get salmonella poisoning. The alcohol kills any infections.

OH and what is the cause exactly? Was it Reagan's fault or illegal immigrates?

Posted by: Jinix the Elder | February 20, 2007 7:59 PM

I am suffering some of the more mundane aspects of middle age, not the least of which is having to watch what I eat. I'm 46 and in December came to the realization that peanut butter doesn't agree with me anymore. We had a jar of each Peter Pan creamy and chunky in the cabinet and I prefer the chunky (both with product codes beginning 2111). Fortunately after the first sandwich and the night and day that followed, with the "middle age guy" symptoms that ensued (which you can imagine and don't require embellishment), I chalked it up to some kind of intolerance for peanut butter. I felt old and fat and blamed myself for having such a testy constitution - then I hear about this contamination issue. And guess what, maybe the chunky peanut butter I love also loves me! (if I buy the right brand.) I want the folks at Great Value to know that I won't give up on PJ - but I have given up on them for making me feel old and delicate and unable to handle the food(s) I enjoy.
To Frank from Europe that doesn't understand our appreciation of smashed up peanuts spread on bread - after over 20 trips to Western Europe, I've seen things that make our peanut butter look surgically pristine by comparison.
To WesM who implied that immigrants may be somehow (geographically) causal to the issue at hand - you sicken me more than any strain of salmonella might.
Linus

Posted by: Linus | February 20, 2007 8:09 PM

What a hoot!

I was having problems with my stomach since December 2006. I thought it was nerves, or I was getting an ulcer, or something. Couldn't even make it to work, some days, without a second or third 'wave' (on the toilet), as we call it in our household.

My wife was also having stomach probs -- though it was her diabetes meds...

We finally figured out it was the Flax Seed oil supplement we were both taking in the morning, so we stopped that, and it seemed to help, but not totally.

Along came the '2111' P-butter recall, and sure enough... we threw away our 'Great Value' and have totally recovered control of our bowels, after a week or two. Heh! Hope that wasn't too graphic...

Anyway, who would have guessed?

Posted by: Dave | February 20, 2007 8:31 PM

When did everyone get so paranoid?

I was a microbiology major and it amazes me to see the craziness that people endure now to try to accomplish the impossible - a world without bacteria! They're everywhere! No matter what silly wipes you use, no matter how many times you scald your skin off your hands -- they're still going to come right back. They've been around for longer than us, and they'll continue to exist -- yes - right in your pristine kitchen.

The best advice is to get sleep, and eat nutritiously (yes peanut butter is nutritious in reasonable amounts) and your immune system will be up to whatever challenges you face.

Oh - and alflatoxin is the substance in peanut butter than is a carcinogen .. its a fungal mold. But peanut butter is tested for it (at least the big commercial brands are) .. so that shouldn't be too much of a risk. Keep in mind that just about everything is a carcinogen in some form nowadays.. so everyone calm down! We're already living 20 years longer than our grand or great-grandparents!

Posted by: Michigan | February 20, 2007 9:33 PM

And now, the ever present lawyers enter the PB fray. This one from Seattle. They used to chase ambulances.

Posted by: Valjean | February 20, 2007 9:36 PM

You're a total weirdo.

Posted by: Tom | February 20, 2007 9:38 PM

Well, we seem to have the perfect storm here. Virulent paranoia meets scientific ignorance.

Posted by: larry | February 20, 2007 9:39 PM

6th Seal
Rev 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

Posted by: Tom | February 20, 2007 9:48 PM

wierd

Posted by: sdf | February 20, 2007 10:04 PM

Good Point all you guys:

I think organic food ROCKS! What do you think? I think everyone should eat organic food as much as possible. What do you think?
And Please do not buy anything you cant pronounce:
like disodum gluatame! GO ORGANIC

Posted by: Dan Bad | February 20, 2007 11:13 PM

quote: I think organic food ROCKS!

Sounds like a commercial!

Have nothing against organic farming but the farmer's market really sounds more "organic" so far!

Posted by: Tom | February 20, 2007 11:43 PM

The best peanut butter I have found is from Trader Joe's. All it contains is ground peanuts, no salt added. Now any other natural peanut butter tastes too salty.

Two years ago, I stopped eating processed foods, it's not difficult. I feel much better. It does take a long time when you first buy an item, reading all the ingredients. Usually the shorter the list of ingredients is, the healthier the food is.

I agree with a previous post: never eat anything you can't pronounce! Also, no hydrogenated products, no high fructose corn syrup in the first 5 ingredients, etc.

I have not found it more expensive to eat healthy, natural foods.

Posted by: Adrienne | February 21, 2007 12:47 AM

i agree with what Jacob said: "this is what happens when you remove all accountability from the food chain"

that's the BOTTOM LINE. You knee-jerk defensive republicans (I KNEW i'd get baseless, fact-free angry responses to my post) - are so predictable. You'll never, ever, ever take a minute and ponder anything that may mean your dedication to right wing hacks may have been a mistake.

I despise the craven DEMOCRATS who are responsible for this as well - make no mistake there. I know it's not JUST the right. But it's a "conservative" idea that industry can regulate itself. Do you really want to argue that point??

And to the person who can't see the CLEAR connection to food issues and politics - i feel sorry for you, your family and this country - because our food/industrial system is COMPLETELY POLITICAL!! Educate yourself!!

I dare you to go look up the bios and resumes of all the people over at the USDA..the FDA...the EPA....virtually everyone is from the FOOD INDUSTRY -- you have ex-pork and chicken industry executives now in charge of inspections...you have ex-lobbyists for the Beef Industry running the show. Go look it up instead of hurling anger. And - WE USED TO have accountability and conflict-of-interest laws where you COULD NOT be a regulator if you were from the same industry!! that has eroded under ALL politiccians..just extra fast under the Reagan/Clinton/Bush years - especially Ronnie's Watch.

Yep - that's the trick - blame the congress..even though Reagan's CLEAR inspiration to our country was the "shrinking of government a la Grover Norquist. And don't try that scare tactic CRAP that our taxes will triple - Nonsense!!! We are paying that extra money with all the outbreaks and bail-outs and subsidies anyway. All the extra environmental clean-up and polluted landscape due to the lack of regulations is very expensive...to taxpayers. (like what Clinton allowed from Tyson chicken in Arkansas)

I am not partisan - just pointing out THE FACTS -- which always gets the ire of right wing zealots who can't deal with EVER saying "wow -- i voted for the wrong guy". I am able to say that - any rational person should be. The Facts are The Facts - republicans run over and over and over on the basis of "LESS REGULATION..LET THE FREE MARKET RULE" -- yet -- as soon as some company has a bad year -- congress bails them out. And don't fool yourself, since the early 90s-- democrats have been republican-lite -- educate yourself about the DLC-style democrats and how Clinton changed the party -- he moved it way to the center and made it VERY pro business, at the expense of OUR safety. So --you;'d better believe this problem..and anything you can honestly trace to EXCESSIVE DE-REGULATION, is at the feet of the "Reagan-Revoltuion". You can scream and flail all you want as your country falls apart - but the facts are the facts. Support Local and Organicc Farmers, Grow your own food when you can, Eat Raw fruits and veggies to build your immunity - look at simpler diets, eat lower on the food chain, as close to vegetarian as you choose, but the worst is YET to come in american food nightmares. Irradiation, Genetic altering, all the "solutions" the big industry has presented are only causing more problems

Posted by: andre' | February 21, 2007 8:45 AM

It's all a scam by Big Sandwich Fixin's. They want you to throw away a perfectly good jar of PB and then go buy a completely new jar of PB.

Posted by: Kim | February 21, 2007 9:18 AM

You can subscribe to the Consummer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) e-mail alerts for all recalled products at the following location:

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.asp

That way you can always be informed.

Taking action on a recall is still your responsibility.

Posted by: SoMD | February 21, 2007 9:42 AM

That is disgusting.
Spinach, peanut butter, who would have thought? To all you sushi eaters - a friend of mine ate sushi at a decent restaurant and got a tapeworm....

Posted by: maya | February 21, 2007 10:18 AM

Government regulation isn't preventing industry from self-regulation, industry is. Why would it self-regulate after the minimal government regulation ends?

Who should I get to test my peanut butter? My boyfriend has been sick for two weeks before the recall, and is now better since he stopped eating the Peter Pan. He was going to get his doctor to test him and the PB today, but should we send it to the CDC too?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 21, 2007 10:25 AM

"Interesting, all these fecal contaminated foods showing up in states and industries with [very] high illegal immigrant populations...

Anyone else see a correllation?"

Good point. The same corporations that cut costs by hiring illegals apparently are also cutting costs by ignoring reasonable safety practices. I'm sure glad I'm a stockholder and not an employee...

Posted by: pjk | February 21, 2007 10:37 AM

exactly...AGAIN -- since there is very little regulataory oversight (the huge AgriBusiness comglomerates get to literally write their own laws...

1. They have little or No requirements for proper bathrooms, sewage etc at the farms where these illegals work...

2. Guess where they have to go?

3. But this is what we have demanded as Americans -- "Less government interference" -- so we get it -and we have illegla aliens doing dangerous work - they have no rights if they are hurt or poisoned by their jobs providing us with cheap-ass food - and we WONDER why it's all crumbling before our eyes.

Mark my words -- this is all a pretext to the industry getting MORE rights to irradiate MORE of your food, and basically kill pathogens (AND THE NUTRIENTS) to a greater degree. Do you know the irradiation industry...is basically another way for the nuclear industry to get rid of spent fuel?? at our expense??

It's all so simple folks. We havelet corporatiions win EVERY debate. I'm no wacko who says ANARCHY or overthrow all companies. But we MUST have a balance between the RIGHTS of CITIZENS and the "right" of a corporation to unbridled profit.

Posted by: andre' | February 21, 2007 10:50 AM

The sad part is the paranoia won't go away until you force yourself past it. Go buy some new PB and some spinach and wolf it down raw. Go hug a muslim. When you realize it's all safer than driving on the freeway you can get on with your life.

Posted by: pb&s | February 21, 2007 11:07 AM

Just reading these comments is a valuable education in itself.

Posted by: Ephraim | February 22, 2007 11:35 AM

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