Protect Yourself Against Contaminated Peanut Butter

Protect Yourself Against Contaminated Peanut Butter

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to peanut butter and other nut-containing products made by Sunland, Inc. The company's products are sold in a number of major national grocery chains, including Trader Joe's, Target, and Whole Foods.

There have been infections reported in 19 states, including four in Texas, three in Massachusetts,and two in California.

Sunland, Inc. voluntarily recalled many of its products, and even expanded that recall to a bigger list of stores this week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends, if you have something in your pantry that's on the list of recalled products, that you not eat any more of it, and either dispose of it immediately or return it to the store where you bought it. If you or any member of your family has eaten some of a recalled product, and have noticed any symptoms of salmonella poisoning, including diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps, consult your health provider.

Peanut Butter Sandwich

Though there are many kids who can't eat peanut butter and other products due to nut allergies, for some Moms, this is wreaking havoc on daily lunch plans for their kids. "Looks like the ol' brown lunch bag will be getting a makeover to include things like 'Carrots with Ketchup,' 'Ketchup and Jelly Sandwich,' and everyone's favorite 'Crackers with Maple Syrup'," wrote Andrea Espach of Andrea Espach Design.

If you determine the peanut butter or other nut butters you have at home are not part of the recall, it's safe to eat. But perhaps this would be a good opportunity to learn the easy steps to make homemade peanut butter, which keeps really well in the refrigerator.

Cassie of Bake Your Day loves making her own peanut butter (or cashew butter, or almond butter, or whatever nut butter suits her fancy) because it gives her total control over the ingredients:

Guess how many ingredients I used for my at-home version? Two ingredients. Peanuts and salt.

It's hard to argue with the safety of knowing exactly what's gone into what you're serving yourself and your family.

Has the peanut butter recall affected you and your family? How are you handling it in your household? Have you ever tried making your own nut butter at home? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Genie blogs about gardening and food at The Inadvertent Gardener, and tells very short tales at 100 Proof Stories. She is also the Food Section Editor for BlogHer.

Image Credit: {N}Duran on Flickr, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license.


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