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Peanut Butter Recalls - Major Expansion

By Paige Brady, January 28, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Paige Brady
******Updated 2/16/09******** Please refer to our latest blog post for updates on the PCA recall. ******Updated 1-29-09******* The Peanut Butter Corporation of American (PCA) has now expanded their recall to include all types of peanuts and peanut products processed in its Blakely, Georgia, facility since January 1, 2007. This greatly expands the scope of this health issue and every manufacturer of peanut-containing foods, including us, will need to re-examine their products. Please note: While new research is being conducted, we will not be able to answer questions about specific peanut related products. Please refer to our new blog post for updates to the situation as they become available. Additionally, our answers to previous comments on this blog post about the recall are not necessarily accurate any longer given the new developments. *****Updated 1/28/09 a.m.***** Added the following products to the recall list: Uncle Eddies Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate-Chip Cookies Uncle Eddies Individual Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies Uncle Eddies Individual Organic Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies SunRidge Chocolate Energy Bar (sold in bulk) SunRidge Energy Nuggets ****Updated 1/24/09 a.m.**** Last night we announced a recall of our Whole Foods Carob Energee Nuggets in four states (California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada) because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. No illnesses have been reported to date, but our product supplier, Marin Foods, notified us of the potential for contamination of Salmonella. The product comes in a nine-ounce, clear plastic package with a label reading "Whole Foods Carob Energee Nuggets" and bears a UPC of 999482-000274. All lot codes are being recalled. If you purchased Whole Foods Carob Energee Nuggets, please return them to the store for a full refund. ***Updated 1/23/09 a.m.*** Added additional products to recall list: Dancing Stars' Chunks of Energy Carob/Hawaiian Spirulina and High Country Gorp Can Do Kid Chocolate Crunch and Cookies & Cream Bars **Updated 1/22/09 p.m.** Clarification: Many manufacturers receive their supply of ingredients from multiple vendors. Therefore, not all products listed below are recalled in total, but rather specific lot or batch numbers made on certain dates. Please link through to our Product Recalls page to get more specifics directly from each manufacturer. *Updated 1/22/09 a.m.* Added additional products to recall list: ThinkThin Dark Chocolate and Chocolate Mudslide Bars You've probably heard by now that due to cases involving salmonella poisoning, the FDA has warned U.S. consumers "to postpone eating commercially-prepared or manufactured peanut butter-containing products and institutionally-served peanut butter until further information becomes available about which products may be affected." Before we get into exactly what this means and what Whole Foods Market is doing about it, we wanted to share the latest safety recall information on products sold in our stores. Recalled products we sell: *Note: Many manufacturers receive their supply of ingredients from multiple vendors. Therefore, not all products listed below are recalled in total, but rather specific lot or batch numbers made on certain dates. Please link through to our Product Recalls page to get more specifics directly from each manufacturer.
  • Can Do Kid Chocolate Crunch and Cookies & Cream Bars *** added 1/23/09
  • Clif Bars: Crunchy Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch, Peanut Toffee Buzz and Variety Pack
  • Clif Builder's Bar: Peanut Butter and Variety Pack
  • Clif Kid ZBaR: Peanut Butter and Variety Pack
  • Dancing Stars' Chunks of Energy Carob/Hawaiian Spirulina and High Country Gorp *** added 1/23/09
  • Health Valley Organic Peanut Crunch Chewy Granola Bars
  • JamFrakas Peanut Butter BlissCrisp snack bars
  • LÄRABAR Peanut Butter Cookie
  • Luna Bars: Nutz Over Chocolate, Peanut Butter Cookie and Mini's Variety pack
  • MOJO Bar: Honey Roasted Peanut, Mixed Nuts, Mountain Mix, and Peanut Butter Pretzel
  • MOJO Dipped: Chocolate Peanut, Peanut Butter & Jelly, and Fruit & Nut
  • Nature's Path Optimum Energy Bars, Peanut Butter Flavor
  • SunRidge Chocolate Energy Bar (sold in bulk) *** Added 1/28/09
  • SunRidge Energy Nuggets *** Added 1/28/09
  • ThinkThin Dark Chocolate and Chocolate Mudslide Bars *** Added 1/22/09
  • Uncle Eddies Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate-Chip Cookies *** Added 1/28/09
  • Uncle Eddies Individual Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies *** Added 1/28/09
  • Uncle Eddies Individual Organic Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies  *** Added 1/28/09
  • Whole Foods Carob Energee Nuggets *** Added 1/23/09
  • ZonePerfect Chocolate Peanut Butter bars
  • ZonePerfect Peanut Toffee bars
We will update this list as more information becomes available. Customers may return these products to their local Whole Foods Market store for a full refund.  Please note there are other products being recalled that are not listed here because we do not carry them in our stores. The FDA has a searchable database of all recalled peanut butter products. While the FDA is a United States regulatory body, the individual companies issuing recalls may be recalling their products from Canada as well. Please refer to each company directly for their specific recall information. We asked our food safety support senior coordinator, John Burns, to help share helpful information about this whole situation. It is quite involved and still unfolding, but here are the basics.  The Peanut Butter Corporation of America (PCA) has recalled peanut butter and peanut paste that was produced in its Blakely, Georgia plant because of potential Salmonella contamination. These peanut products were distributed to food manufacturers to be used as an ingredient in many commercially produced products including cakes, cookies, crackers, candies, cereal and ice cream. The product being recalled is sold by PCA in bulk packaging in containers ranging in size from 5 to 1700 pounds.  The peanut paste is sold in sizes ranging from 35-pound containers to product sold by the tanker container.  These products are not sold directly to consumers.  PCA has stopped all production at its Blakely plant as the FDA continues its investigation into the source of the Salmonella contamination. Companies that use peanut butter as an ingredient are looking closely at their products to determine if they have used the peanut butter that is under investigation and subsequently a number of companies have pulled products from circulation that they feel are at risk. The only ones recalled thus far that are sold in our stores are listed above. The FDA investigation is still in its early stages, so we will continue to monitor the situation as it develops and keep you updated about anything that affects the products we sell. You can learn more from the PCA recall notice (pdf) and the FDA website section on the Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak. Please note: While new research is being conducted, we will not be able to answer questions about specific peanut related products. Please refer to our new blog post for updates to the situation as they become available. Additionally, our answers to previous comments on this blog post about the recall are not necessarily accurate any longer given the new developments.
Category: Food Safety

 

58 Comments

Comments

Molly says ...
I recently bought Whole Foods brand peanut butter creamy - should I throw it away? or is it safe?
01/20/2009 9:25:02 PM CST
Ari Goldstein says ...
Thank you for being responsible and for putting this information up on the web. This is the kind of modern, mature, and successful information sharing that sets you, Whole Foods, as a company, above all others. This is the kind of thing that continues to win me over and remain loyal to you, for the past 20+ years. Keep up the excellent integrity and efforts!
01/20/2009 10:26:22 PM CST
Ashley says ...
What about the fresh-ground peanut butter on the bulk aisle? I presume that's okay?
01/21/2009 3:17:32 AM CST
paig292 says ...
@Molly: Our Private Label peanut butter is not sourced from PCA and is not affected by the recall. <br /><br /> @Ashley: This recall does not affect whole peanuts at all, so freshly ground is fine too.<br /><br /> Everyone: Please know that we are following this issue closely and will update the list above of any products we sell that are affected by the recall. We won't be able to answer questions about specific products because the manufacturers are the ones reviewing their products. Thanks!
01/21/2009 8:27:51 AM CST
lavamom says ...
What about your 365 brand Organic Peanut Butter Cookies? And is it safe to assume that organic peanut products in general are safe from this particular contamination? Thank you.
01/21/2009 11:19:07 AM CST
J Myers says ...
Does whole foods use this peanut butter in your private label products? I'm concerned specifically about your peanut butter puffs (I think its puffs at least) cereal. Thank you
01/21/2009 11:36:03 AM CST
marji says ...
I was so glad to see the information on your site regarding the peanut butter recall, My 3 year old only loves 365 peanut butter and since she doesn't like meat this is her main sorce of protien, We eat 2 lbs a week with a toddler and teenager I can't live without your products, Thanks for the info, very helpful as she's eating her apples and peanut butter while I'm writing this!
01/21/2009 2:11:31 PM CST
Amy says ...
I purchased (I'm pretty sure from Whole Foods) Ian's PB4me! creamy peanut butter snacks packs. What is the recall status of this product?
01/21/2009 3:40:31 PM CST
paig292 says ...
@Amy While our food safety team is tracking any recalls on products that we sell, it is up to each manufacturer to investigate the safety of their products. Many are in the midst of doing this and we don't have all of the answers on specific products. The FDA is advising to avoid eating products that use peanut butter or peanut butter paste as an ingredient while all of this is sorted out. Smart advice. Also, you can try contacting individual product manufacturers directly, including Ian's.
01/21/2009 4:26:14 PM CST
Ava says ...
I am glad that Whole Foods is letting folks know what products to avoid during this time, but I have to say that I have followed this story in the news and a lot of companies are telling folks that they are pulling their products just to be on the safe side (Kellogg - Austin Crackers which I buy in bulk when I have my nieces and nephews and Little Debbie). It's funny because before this recall came out, I was in the mood to make peanut butter granola and I always find myself at Whole Foods to buy the ingredients. Thanks again.
01/21/2009 4:33:39 PM CST
Wendy says ...
So, just to be clear, all the 365 Brand Crunchy peanut Butters are OK to eat? I noticed that the jar that I have is made in Canada...it is the unstirred variety.
01/21/2009 8:08:58 PM CST
Caroline says ...
Are the Whole Foods peanut butter flavored dog biscuits included in the recall?
01/21/2009 10:05:30 PM CST
Eva says ...
Happy to see that Whole Foods is posting the recalled peanut products for us the consumers to see. I purchase the FANCY MIX NUTS (365 Brand) every week and these contain cut up whole peanuts. I'm concerned whether these are safe to eat ? Would appreciate if you can let me know. THank You, Eva
01/21/2009 10:44:42 PM CST
paig292 says ...
<p>@lavamom: We have been in contact with our vendor and received assurance that the peanut butter used as an ingredient in our 365 packaged cookies is not sourced from PCA. It is not safe to assume that organic peanut product in general is safe from this particular contamination. Over the course of this investigation peanut butter and peanut paste (including organic) have been traced back to PCA.</p> <p>@J Myers: We have been in contact with our vendor and received assurance that the peanut butter used as an ingredient in our cereal is not sourced from Peanut Corporation of America (PCA).</p> <p>@Wendy: The FDA says that "Major national brands of jarred peanut butter are not affected by the PCA recall." In addition to the FDA assessment, our food safety team has been looking closely at our peanut butter suppliers to determine if they’ve had any salmonella issues (none have so far). </p> <p>@Caroline: I'll check with the private label team on the dog biscuits and get back to you.</p> <p>@Eva: Whole or chopped nuts are not implicated in the recall.</p>
01/22/2009 10:38:32 AM CST
Jennifer Veltre-Gonzalez says ...
I also bought the fresh ground organic peanut butter. Should we stay away from it just to be safe?
01/22/2009 12:14:20 PM CST
Anne says ...
Just yesterday I bought some Clif bars that are listed above in the recall. Are those going to be pulled from the shelves? Unless I had happened upon this info at the website today I wouldn't have known they were among the recalled items. They were available for purchase 24 hours ago.
01/22/2009 12:16:28 PM CST
paig292 says ...
@Jennifer: While the FDA does not show freshly ground organic peanut butter as being affected by the recall, we encourage you to take whatever steps make you feel most safe. You are welcome to return the product, if you like, or hang onto it until more information becomes available.
01/22/2009 12:54:43 PM CST
paig292 says ...
@Anne: Thanks for the heads up. We are definitely working on clearing the shelves and I'll let our food safety team know about your experience.
01/22/2009 12:56:16 PM CST
Brenda says ...
What amount the dog treats that Whole Foods sells that contain peanut butter?
01/22/2009 11:33:38 PM CST
paig292 says ...
@Caroline and @Brenda: At this time we have received assurances from our private label dog biscuit supplier that the peanut butter used is not sourced from PCA. Fido should be happy!
01/23/2009 10:44:24 AM CST
paig292 says ...
@Anne: To clarify, some manufacturers are recalling product batches made on certain dates -- not their whole inventory. That's why you will probably see some of the recalled products on the shelves still. If you have questions, check our Product Recalls page for information from the vendors about lot numbers.
01/23/2009 10:46:08 AM CST
beth b says ...
i am frustrated. every week i buy 5 clif mojo bars - only peanut butter pretzel and mixed nuts varieties - from WFM princeton (nj) and eat them each weekday. i called the store today to find out IF the store had sold any of the recalled product, and if so WHEN it was sold, so i could figure out if i bought (and already ate!!) recaalled product. got nowhere with that call. the guy i talked to actually told me to save the wrappers - but i already ate the bars, and threw the wrappers out. what's my next step? thanks
01/23/2009 12:59:12 PM CST
Ann Chandler says ...
It seems [so far] that none of the candies [Reeses peanut butter cups; peanut butter chips, M&amp;m's; etc. have been on "the list"&amp; pulled from the shelves. Can you explain why?
01/23/2009 1:00:04 PM CST
beth b says ...
i had no idea WFM sells "reeses peanut butter cups, m&amp;m's, etc."! what store do you shop in? the princeton nj store won't even sell the pints of ciao bello's peppermint stick gelato because of some dye used in the peppermint sticks (though they do have ciao bello make an "acceptable" alternative product!) among other things. no nutella!
01/23/2009 1:53:57 PM CST
paig292 says ...
@Ann and @Beth: The list on this blog is only for the products affected by the recall that we sell in our stores. We are not listing products that are not carried in our stores (like the candies you mention). If you need that information, please refer to the links to the FDA website.
01/23/2009 2:41:28 PM CST

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