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National salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter
January 17, 2009 4:51 PM   Subscribe

Peanut butter recall - hundreds sick. Federal health authorities on Saturday urged consumers to avoid eating cookies, cakes, ice cream and other foods that contain peanut butter until authorities can learn more about a deadly outbreak of salmonella contamination. It appears that retail peanut butter in jars is safe. So far, more than 470 people have gotten sick in 43 states, and at least 90 had to be hospitalized. At least six deaths are being blamed on the outbreak which is believed to have started at a Blakely, Ga., facility owned by Peanut Corp. of America that ships peanut products to 85 food companies.
posted by dejah420 (73 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
ouch that's half my diet. that sucks, thanks for the heads' up
posted by zenwerewolf at 4:55 PM on January 17, 2009


I'm still trying to find a complete list of the 85 companies which have been impacted. Thus far, only Kellogs has done a massive national recall and has reported that recall to a national reporter. (Still no sign of the recall on their website though.)
posted by dejah420 at 5:01 PM on January 17, 2009


What's up with that?
posted by Dumsnill at 5:06 PM on January 17, 2009


Joel Stein probably says that's in your head, too.
posted by codswallop at 5:07 PM on January 17, 2009


How does salmonella get into the peanut butter? There is no meat involved. Some kind of egg product? Since when are there eggs in peanut butter?
posted by Justinian at 5:12 PM on January 17, 2009


Contaminated machinery.
posted by gman at 5:13 PM on January 17, 2009


Cautiion: these peanuts used in a factory that handles peanut butter.
posted by barnacles at 5:18 PM on January 17, 2009


TERRISTS is how.
posted by fire&wings at 5:18 PM on January 17, 2009


Better safe than sorry.

I've had salmonella food poisoning. Eight days in the hospital.

I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:22 PM on January 17, 2009


Finally my hatred is vindicated. Death to peanut butter!
posted by dame at 5:22 PM on January 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


My wife just went to the store. I asked her to get me some Nutter Butters if she could. They were out, so she got Oreo Double Stuf instead.

Now I know why.
posted by jonmc at 5:23 PM on January 17, 2009


It's peanut-salmonella-time, peanut-salmonella-time, way-o, way-o!
posted by zippy at 5:29 PM on January 17, 2009 [29 favorites]


Ah damn, really wanted to pick up some peanut butter cookies tonight. Guess I'll have to snack on expired wheat bread instead.
posted by infinitewindow at 5:38 PM on January 17, 2009


So its mostly processed foods with PB?
posted by R. Mutt at 5:40 PM on January 17, 2009


Ya mean this guy's behind it? Shady bastard.
posted by jonmc at 5:41 PM on January 17, 2009


As a child I was told that Mr. Peanut, the mascot of the Planters Peanut company, walked with a cane because he had dry roasted nuts.
posted by Tube at 5:42 PM on January 17, 2009 [9 favorites]


so she got Oreo Double Stuf instead

Either she loves you very much, or has just doubled the insurance.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:44 PM on January 17, 2009


Deregulicious!
posted by delmoi at 5:45 PM on January 17, 2009 [13 favorites]


delmoi writes "Deregulicious!"

Delmoi, you're a dirty commie. If a few elderly people and little children die in order to ensure a 10% greater profit for agribusiness, that's overall a benefit to the country.

Indeed, to the extent that the dead were Social Security parasites and Welfare Babies, it's an unalloyed benefit.

I'd say more, but I'm off to my Free Market Rally and Pro-Life March.
posted by orthogonality at 6:02 PM on January 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


I blame Jimmy Carter.
posted by Dumsnill at 6:03 PM on January 17, 2009


The FDA's recall page has information on a few other companies that have possibly been affected, and I'm sure more will be listed there over the next few days. The first peanut butter recall was announced a week ago.
posted by des at 6:03 PM on January 17, 2009


You got your salmonella in my peanut butter! You got your peanut butter in my salmonella!
posted by DU at 6:08 PM on January 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


See, now I don't know if I got norovirus from a buffet, or salmonella from peanut-butter-centered pretzels.

Either way, a last "present" from Tom Delay and George W. Bush. In all seriousness, this is what we get when we vote for "pro-market" Republicans. The politics is literally as personal as projectile vomit.
posted by orthogonality at 6:09 PM on January 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I suppose that means I can blame Jimmy Carter for MY 8 day hospital stay, then.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:15 PM on January 17, 2009


I blame George Washington Carver.
posted by Aquaman at 6:18 PM on January 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


So, um, not to dilute the vitriol, but is there some indication that this outbreak has anything to do with deregulation, Bush policies, Cheney spitting in the peanut mixer, etc.? Did Michael Brown get put in charge of the FDA's peanut division? Or is the theory just that any food problems must somehow be regulatory in nature?
posted by hattifattener at 6:24 PM on January 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


So, um, not to dilute the vitriol, but is there some indication that this outbreak has anything to do with deregulation, Bush policies, Cheney spitting in the peanut mixer, etc.? Did Michael Brown get put in charge of the FDA's peanut division? Or is the theory just that any food problems must somehow be regulatory in nature?

Or is that the recall is still voluntary? From the article:
For example, the FDA lacks authority to order a recall, and instead must ask companies to voluntarily withdraw products.

There are days I just about live on Reese cups. I have no idea if I should eat these now or not, and if not, when they'll be (relatively) safe again.
posted by dilettante at 6:29 PM on January 17, 2009


hattifattener writes "Or is the theory just that any food problems must somehow be regulatory in nature?"

The Dept. of Agriculture prevents cattle slaughterhouses from voluntarily testing meat for Mad Cow, to protect non-testing ranchers and slaughterhouses from competition. Of course, that means some higher number of Americans will slowly go crazy and die from vCJD, but it saves a few ranchers and agribusinesses a few dollars.

Beef exported to Japan gets tested, because Japan cares more about its citizens' health than agribusiness profits. American die for deregulation.
posted by orthogonality at 6:44 PM on January 17, 2009 [13 favorites]


Dear AskMe: I bought a still-unopened jar of 365 brand organic crunchy peanut butter at Whole Foods a couple of days ago. Should I eat it, or should I DTMF?
posted by rtha at 6:50 PM on January 17, 2009


impacted?
posted by 4eyes at 6:51 PM on January 17, 2009


Hy-Vee Inc. says that it is recalling Peanut Butter Cookies, Monster Cookies, Peanut Butter Reeses Pieces Cookies, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Lunchbox Reeses Pieces Cookies, Lunchbox Peanut Butter Cookies, People Chow Party Mix and Assorted Truffle Fudge.

The company said that all sell-by dates are included in this recall and that the items should be destroyed or returned to Hy-Vee for a full refund.
posted by dejah420 at 7:09 PM on January 17, 2009


What's wrong with "impacted"?
posted by Dumsnill at 7:10 PM on January 17, 2009


What's wrong with "impacted"?

It means something wedged in tightly, like an impacted tooth. It's not a synonym with "affected".
posted by Justinian at 7:12 PM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]



Main Entry:
1im·pact Listen to the pronunciation of 1impact
Pronunciation:
I beg to differ

\im-ˈpakt\
Function:
verb
Etymology:
Latin impactus, past participle of impingere to push against — more at impinge
Date:
1601

transitive verb1 a: to fix firmly by or as if by packing or wedging b: to press together2 a: to have a direct effect or impact on : impinge on b: to strike forcefully ; also : to cause to strike forcefullyintransitive verb1: to have an impact —often used with on2: to impinge or make contact especially forcefully
— im·pact·ful Listen to the pronunciation of impactful Listen to the pronunciation of impactful \im-ˈpakt-fəl, ˈim-ˌpakt-fəl\ adjective
— im·pac·tive Listen to the pronunciation of impactive \im-ˈpak-tiv\ adjective
— im·pac·tor also im·pact·er Listen to the pronunciation of impacter \-tər\ noun
posted by Dumsnill at 7:14 PM on January 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


And "affected" doesn't mean what you think it means.
posted by Dumsnill at 7:15 PM on January 17, 2009


DTMF, but only because peanut butter is untasty.

In other news, peanuts are a primary source of protein for half a billion folks.
posted by aniola at 7:15 PM on January 17, 2009


Impact: "to have a direct effect or impact on : impinge on : to strike forcefully ; also : to cause to strike forcefully"
posted by Dumsnill at 7:22 PM on January 17, 2009


Sorry 'bout the salmonella!
Heh heh, that's OK!
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:32 PM on January 17, 2009


The Dept. of Agriculture prevents cattle slaughterhouses from voluntarily testing meat for Mad Cow, to protect non-testing ranchers and slaughterhouses from competition. Of course, that means some higher number of Americans will slowly go crazy and die from vCJD, but it saves a few ranchers and agribusinesses a few dollars.

The Japanese are lulled into an illusion of safety. Universally testing cattle doesn't actually result in a lower level of transmission than testing of suspect cattle and a statistical sample. Current tests are only able to detect a diseased cow 3-4 months before the animal exhibits symptoms. There hasn't been a documented case of BSE in a cow under 20 months old, and even the few potential cases in cows under 30 months old have not been verified. So it would seem that universal testing of these cattle (under 30 months) is actually not protecting the public's health in any meaningful way. Even the Japanese experts have recommended that universal testing be dropped, however public sentiment is against it because of false perception that universal testing is somehow making them safer.
posted by humanfont at 7:34 PM on January 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yes, we should definitely have an argument about fine points of grammar now, preferably with as much copy-pasting from dictionaries and thesaurii as possible.
posted by ook at 7:34 PM on January 17, 2009


The Dept. of Agriculture prevents cattle slaughterhouses from voluntarily

And this, you call deregulation? It sounds pretty regulatory to me, it just sounds like the absolute wrong regulation.

Please don't let that interfere with the "government needs more power" narrative, though.
posted by roystgnr at 7:35 PM on January 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Okay, sorry about that. (But I'm right, dammit)
posted by Dumsnill at 7:41 PM on January 17, 2009


How does salmonella get into the peanut butter?

Two girls, one peanut butter cup.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:47 PM on January 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Wait a minute, didn't this already happen like a year ago? I'm not just imagining that, am I?
posted by Merzbau at 8:01 PM on January 17, 2009


Wait a minute, didn't this already happen like a year ago? I'm not just imagining that, am I?

In 2007.
posted by Snerd at 8:25 PM on January 17, 2009


But what's this going to mean for those Girl Scout Peanut Butter Patties I just ordered?? Won't someone think of the children?!
posted by anthom at 8:29 PM on January 17, 2009


The real question is how those pesky salmon manage to get into those peanut factories.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:31 PM on January 17, 2009


There is no full list of all 85 companies available to the public.This is very deliberate on the part of the FDA because it allows the companies to do their own research and only recall contaminated batches instead of a blanket recall. It means some of those companies can slink away unharmed by this, and the ones that have contaminated product only have to recall those.

It saves money.But it also costs people lives. Lack of information and and an aggressive recall will cause more illness and deaths. Playing it coy saves cash, but kills more people who just wanted a peanut butter cracker.

There is no excuse for this kind of outbreak, not on this scale, and not with this kind of product. I know mistakes happen, but these are getting worse. Enough is enough.

I've lived in both the UK, the EU and US. There's a marked difference in how the EU and UK handles foodborne illness outbreaks. When there was the Cadbury salmonella outbreak in the UK, there was a thorough examination, huge recall, and at the end of the day, they were fined 1 million pounds. The public was kept in the loop, recalls were prompt and aggressive. And this is in the UK, which is trying to embrace the de-regulation model of the US, but still can't quite be as heartless as they need to be to make it work.

Now I live in Finland, which has one of the cleanest food supplies in the world. There is no salmonella in the chicken here. Period. If I understand correctly, it is the only country in the entire world that doesn't have that. The food supply is that clean.

Why? Because they keep an eye on the food. They hire people, the pay people, and they punish those that think they can bypass the system.

When an outbreak happens, the number 1 priority is notifying the population, finding the cause, and removing it from the food supply as aggressively as possible. No being coy to save money, no dancing around the core problem. They solve it and punish those that screwed up.

In the US, there is an acceptable loss of life for foodborne illness. There is a valuation made of lives lost vs. cost. For FOOD. That's not a reasonable balance. I eat a cracker, piece of lunch meat, tomato or a pepper that has gone through modern food preparation in the most technologically advanced first-world nation.

I should not die. Or get violently ill because someone didn't fix a leak in the ceiling or didn't clean the equipment, or someone used contaminated fertilizer or any of these reasons. That just should not happen. I don't expect it to be perfect, but there is no excuse in this day and age for it to be lethal.

What's the answer? Well, January 20th is a start. Let's go from there.
posted by Lord_Pall at 8:58 PM on January 17, 2009 [20 favorites]


Deregulicious!

and

In the US, there is an acceptable loss of life for foodborne illness. There is a valuation made of lives lost vs. cost. For FOOD. That's not a reasonable balance. I eat a cracker, piece of lunch meat, tomato or a pepper that has gone through modern food preparation in the most technologically advanced first-world nation.

I should not die. Or get violently ill because someone didn't fix a leak in the ceiling or didn't clean the equipment, or someone used contaminated fertilizer or any of these reasons. That just should not happen. I don't expect it to be perfect, but there is no excuse in this day and age for it to be lethal.


There should be more regulation and better food oversight and inspection. But, at the end of the day, highly processed food created on an industrial scale is going to be dangerous. It's the price we consumers pay for convenience and for lower food costs.

In this case, if you want to increase your food safety, stop eating processed foods.

Beef exported to Japan gets tested, because Japan cares more about its citizens' health than agribusiness profits. American die for deregulation.

No. This is incorrect. Japan demands for increased testing on American beef act, in the face of intense American pressures for agricultural reciprocity, as a barrier to market. It's one way of cutting down the flow of American ag imports.

Food safety in Japan is about the same as that in the US. For example, in Japan there is the ongoing problem of large dairy companies recycling expired milk products. It never seems to stop.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:19 PM on January 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is fucking nuts.
posted by gman at 9:29 PM on January 17, 2009



There should be more regulation and better food oversight and inspection. But, at the end of the day, highly processed food created on an industrial scale is going to be dangerous. It's the price we consumers pay for convenience and for lower food costs.

In this case, if you want to increase your food safety, stop eating processed foods.


You're absolutely right. There will be mistakes, especially with things as centralized as they are. But there's also a right and a wrong way to handle a recall.

This is the wrong way.

Eventually if they handled this properly, the food supply would decentralize, simply because the recall cost would end up overwhelming the savings. It would give us a more fault tolerant food supply if peanut butter came from 20 factories instead of 1.

Cost would go up though, but that's the price of doing things correctly....
posted by Lord_Pall at 9:46 PM on January 17, 2009


But, at the end of the day, highly processed food created on an industrial scale is going to be dangerous ... if you want to increase your food safety, stop eating processed foods.

Can you support this assertion? There are a lot of downsides to highly processed foods, most notably lost nutrients. But this is the first I've heard of a necessary causal relationship between large-scale production and diminished food safety, and it's counterintuitive: it would seem to be easier to efficiently create and monitor sanitary conditions in a small number of large, highly visible facilities that can support repeatable practices and adequate inspection staffing, than in a large number of small, relatively shoestring operations.

Again, I'm no fan of industrial food production -- on the contrary, I'm in the "eat local" camp and I practice it as much as I can. But given that most Americans do eat industrially produced foods and are likely to continue to, I don't think it's responsible to say that reduced food safety is a necessary consequence of food production on an industrial scale. It's probably an inevitable consequence of unmonitored, laissez-faire food production in a climate of sheeplike acceptance of the primacy of corporate profits, but this is a political matter, not a truism of large-scale production.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:08 PM on January 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wait, so my mom sent some Nutter Butters... do I eat them, or no?
posted by jcruelty at 10:22 PM on January 17, 2009


Live on the edge, yo.
posted by jonmc at 10:24 PM on January 17, 2009


Eventually if they handled this properly, the food supply would decentralize, simply because the recall cost would end up overwhelming the savings. It would give us a more fault tolerant food supply if peanut butter came from 20 factories instead of 1.

Actually, I hadn't thought about the fact that food production occurs in only a few facilities these days, so perhaps a decentralized approach would work be more realistic than expecting everyone to "eat locally" to preserve food security, although, I suppose from George's perspective that a small number of facilities would provide better food security, this would seem counterintuitive.

In fact, a couple of the most recent food crises have been the result of highly centralized food production.

Can you support this assertion?

Actually, no, I can't. Does anyone out there have any expertise in systems theory or even process engineering? Anyway, it seems logical that more industrialized food processes will increase risk, simply because a food product will come into contact with more disease vectors. Take ground meat, for example. How dirty is that?
posted by KokuRyu at 10:30 PM on January 17, 2009


Anyway, it seems logical that more industrialized food processes will increase risk, simply because a food product will come into contact with more disease vectors.

It seems logical if you have the pessimistic assumption that the food product must inevitably come into contact with disease vectors, or that large systems must inevitably result in the pooling of disparate sources with the result that one bad input will contaminate a lot of outputs. This may be true in current practice, but I'm not persuaded that it must be true. With proper controls -- of the kind we are not willing to demand, apparently -- a sophisticated facility can exercise very sophisticated controls of a sort that would be beyond the means and specialist-hiring ability of a boutique operation.

I'm inclined to believe the problem is not that they can't provide food safety, it's that they won't, and we won't make them. And I also suspect that part of the problem is that blowing a few hundred K on congressional campaign contributions every two or six years is a lot cheaper than hiring more full-time microbiologists and implementing solid, repeatable practices would be, so if you're all about the cheap, a politician is always a better buy than doing it right.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:57 PM on January 17, 2009


So Jurgis Rudkus got a job with Peanut Corp. of America?

"In the US, there is an acceptable loss of life for foodborne illness. There is a valuation made of lives lost vs. cost. For FOOD. That's not a reasonable balance."

Actually, in the U.S., at the time Sinclair's book was written he was aiming for the exploitation of the workers. He wrote about guys falling into rendered hog fat and being ground up and shipped along with the meat and people went "Eww, I don't want to eat that!"

Which, actually, is probably also what's going on here. With oversight, inspection, etc - it's not just higher costs. Whether you're willing to pay is not the issue. It's what cuts into profits.
If you're willing to pay more, but they lose market share, etc, they lose profits. Well, can't have that can we?
At the same time worker exploitation goes along with this. Most people are smart enough not to crap where they eat. And one of the perks working anywhere is you get to take some goodies home with you. So Joe Peanut Corp worker might take home some peanuts, or whatever. He's not going to want to do that, give it to his kids, if it's covered in filth. Gotta keep him quiet or out of the loop, whatever.
So I doubt it's just carelessness. As Lord Pall said - most technologically advanced first-world nation. I'd suspect it's a feature, not a bug.
But either way, those roots go deep. Sinclair had some things to say about corruption as well.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:09 PM on January 17, 2009


I can live without beef from mad cows, I can live without chicken fed on the corpses of diseased chickens, but I do not want to face life without peanut butter. There is no joy in life without peanut butter, also no lunch.
posted by Cranberry at 12:54 AM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Now I live in Finland, which has one of the cleanest food supplies in the world. There is no salmonella in the chicken here. Period. If I understand correctly, it is the only country in the entire world that doesn't have that. The food supply is that clean.

Given that some Japanese restaurants serve chicken sashimi, I presume they have low or no salmonella as well.

One of the most disgusting practices in poultry is soaking the plucked chickens in water to bring the weight up. Congrats, now the whole batch has salmonella (and smells faintly of shit, go on, sniff the next raw chicken you buy why don't you).
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:40 AM on January 18, 2009


Dear AskMe: I bought a still-unopened jar of 365 brand organic crunchy peanut butter at Whole Foods a couple of days ago. Should I eat it, or should I DTMF?

Dunno. I think we need to hear a tape of your bowel movements to be sure about changing your diet.

Actually, no, I can't. Does anyone out there have any expertise in systems theory or even process engineering? Anyway, it seems logical that more industrialized food processes will increase risk, simply because a food product will come into contact with more disease vectors.

Clearly my next family car should be a Morgan rather than a Toyota; it will be safer and more reliable because it comes into contact with fewer people and there are fewer chances for someone to make a mistake.
posted by rodgerd at 1:49 AM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


an aggressive recall will cause more illness and deaths

what
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:17 AM on January 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


When there was the Cadbury salmonella outbreak in the UK, there was a thorough examination, huge recall, and at the end of the day, they were fined 1 million pounds. The public was kept in the loop, recalls were prompt and aggressive. And this is in the UK, which is trying to embrace the de-regulation model of the US, but still can't quite be as heartless as they need to be to make it work.

You're details are pretty off the mark. Cadburys was caught because of an outbreak of a rare strain of salmonella that was traced back to them. It turned that the company had detected the salmonella 6 months before they were caught yet still shipped salmonella bars. That is they deliberately and willfully sold salmonella contaminated chocolate. They only reported the contamination after they had already been caught. Their actions were potentially murderous and criminally negligent. 3 people were hospitalized and 42 people needed to be treated who knows how many others were simply sick and didn't go to a health clinic. The investigation was not all serious. The people who choose to poison the public went unpunished. A fine of 1 million pounds for a company that records profits of around 1 billion a year isn't even a speeding ticket. Of course having the city of Birmingham investigate one if its largest industries, biggest employers and major charitable donor the result is kind of inevitable.

Don't go thinking food is safer in the UK than in the U.S. At least in the US you have serious civil liability which keeps companies on their toes. Here in the UK the response to deliberate poisoning was "They say they are sorry".
posted by srboisvert at 2:59 AM on January 18, 2009


This happened with Roma tomatoes. This happened with Fresh Spinach. Now it's happening with Peanut butter.

Each time there was one contaminated producer or farm, and one source of the contamination reached hundreds of people across multiple states. And nobody could say what state would be next. With the tomato scare, they extended the warning to salsa and guacamole. Was it the same tomatoes, or was it sometime to do with Tex Mex cuisine?

I don't think they're hiding the 85 brands of peanut butter that shouldn't be consumed. I think THEY HAVE NO CLUE WHAT IS SAFE TO EAT.

Regulation on food safety aside, this is a different problem. No one knows where Americans' Food comes from. The path from farm to your table is a complete unknown. The number of sources is undocumented and essentially unlimited. Isn't this a little scary?
posted by cotterpin at 3:21 AM on January 18, 2009 [9 favorites]


It really made my sick a couple of months ago when it was all over the news how Korea would not accept the import of American beef and people here just accepted blindly that it was 100% about a trade argument and that our beef was perfectly safe. This further ingrains my conspiracy theory that the vast majority of Americans are controlled by some form of Soma. After I found out that Bush curtailed the testing of Mad Cow years ago, I have refused to eat beef. I think I'm the only one because when I bring it up people look at me as if I'm crazy for not trusting the government with my life.
posted by any major dude at 7:49 AM on January 18, 2009


This happened with Roma tomatoes.

Well, except it turned out that tomatoes were safe to eat all along and it was actually peppers that were the problem. OOPS.
posted by Justinian at 7:57 AM on January 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Apparently Reese's cups are safe: Hershey's says they make their own damned peanut butter.

Hey, this is really important to me.
posted by dilettante at 8:42 AM on January 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Your food industry is seriously fucked up. I thought ours (Canada's) was too, but then the CEO of Maple Leaf Foods restored my faith in what some good people can do. Accountable business is smart business.
posted by illiad at 12:00 PM on January 18, 2009


This thread has given me an insatiable hankering for peanut butter, which I am now satisfying with some Trader Joe's crunchy-style on toast.

Reserve judgment.
posted by nonmerci at 12:30 PM on January 18, 2009


KokuRyu writes "There should be more regulation and better food oversight and inspection. But, at the end of the day, highly processed food created on an industrial scale is going to be dangerous. It's the price we consumers pay for convenience and for lower food costs.

"In this case, if you want to increase your food safety, stop eating processed foods."


In this case sure. Wouldn't have made a whit of difference when it was peppers or spinach.
posted by Mitheral at 4:33 PM on January 18, 2009


But, at the end of the day, highly processed food created on an industrial scale is going to be dangerous. It's the price we consumers pay for convenience and for lower food costs.

In this case, if you want to increase your food safety, stop eating processed foods.


Do you seriously think that food was better for you before industrialization? Really?

I am gobsmacked.
posted by srboisvert at 8:51 AM on January 19, 2009


Oh shit! I just ate a peanut butter and bacon burger* tonight! I forgot all about this mess.

So long, my fair MeFites, it's been real.

* delicious and awesome and totally worth it
posted by chara at 8:31 PM on January 19, 2009


David James recalled opening a tote of peanuts at the processing plant in this small Georgia town and seeing baby mice in it. "It was filthy and nasty all around the place," said James, who used to work in shipping at the plant.

Terry Jones, a janitor, remembered the peanut oil left to soak into the floor and the unrepaired roof that constantly leaked rain.

And James Griffin, a cook at the plant, recounted how his observations led to this simple rule: "I never ate the peanut butter, and I wouldn't allow my kids to eat it."


...

FDA officials said that by invoking anti-terrorism laws, they obtained internal company records that Georgia inspectors could not. These included lab tests that found salmonella on 12 occasions in the past two years.

The FDA said Peanut Corp. sent contaminated samples to various labs until it got a negative result, then shipped the product to vendors.


Inside 'nasty' nut processor
, Chicago Tribune
posted by PY at 12:54 AM on February 12, 2009


The FDA said Peanut Corp. sent contaminated samples to various labs until it got a negative result, then shipped the product to vendors

That's at least eight cases of manslaughter / negligent homicide.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:15 AM on February 12, 2009


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