Food Poisoning in the News: Peter Pan/Great Value Peanut Butter

Tests have shown that some jars of Peter Pan brand and Great Value brand of peanut butter were contaminated with salmonella Tennessee, a bacterium that causes foodborne disease. This is according to US Food and Drug Administration last March 9, 2007. Peter Pan and Great Value brands of peanut butter are produced by ConAgra Foods.  On March 1, FDA stated that after thorough inspection of a ConAgra plant in Georgia, of the samples gathered by the FDA, it was revealed that there was the presence of salmonella.

Product Details and Recall Information

Peanut butter that may have been contaminated with salmonella Tennessee was marketed in Peter Pan and Great Value brand jars with product code that starts with “2111.” The product code is found on the cover of the jar. Peter Pan and Great Value brands are produced by ConAgra Foods. It was on March 9 when FDA notified the consumers that ConAgra Foods extended their recall of all Peter Pan peanut butter, and all the Great Value peanut butter which starts with the code “2111” which included peanut butter toppings, back to October 2004. Consumers who have some inquiries about the recall can contact ConAgra with its toll free, 24-hour hotline at 866-344-6970.

628 Reports of Illness

On May 22, 2007, there were 628 persons from different 47 states who have been infected with an outbreak strain of Salmonella that were associated with the consumption of different types of Peter Pan peanut butter. This was based on the studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC and state health agencies. There were 51 patients were hospitalized. The first consumer might have been sick in August 2006. Although the contamination was detected only in Peter Pan peanut butter, Great Value brand peanut butter with product code 2111 was produced in the same facility as Peter Pan peanut butter, and it was believed to be with the same risks of contamination.

Advice for Consumers

Symptoms of foodborne disease was caused by salmonella are fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps.  People with poor health or weak immune system, salmonella can enter the bloodstream and cause life-threatening infections. People who have recently eaten Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter starting with product code 2111, and have suffered any of these symptoms should be reported to the state or local health agencies.

Consumers who have suffered from any of the peanut butter brands in their homes should throw away the jars right away.

LawsuitsFiled Over Peanut Butter Contamination

Last February 20, 2007, a class action lawsuit was filed in federal court in Washington State, and on behalf of the people who were sick after eating the salmonella-infected Peter Pan or Great Value peanut butter.

Then on February 21, the Associated Press have given reports that a Pennsylvania family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the ConAgra Foods, producer of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter, claiming that 76 years old Roberta Barkay died due to eating peanut butter which was contaminated with salmonella.

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