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Peanut Butter Recalls - Major Expansion

******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.

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58 comments

Comments

paig292 says …

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 <a href="http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/2009/01/breaking-news-peanut-butter-recall-expanded/" rel="nofollow">our new blog post</a> 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.

paig292 says …

@RecycleBill: Sorry it took a while, but here's some info about organic processing. As a certified organic facility, PCA’s operations are audited and certified to the USDA’s National Organic Standards by Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA), a third-party organic certifier approved by the USDA. The standard requires that the facility prevent commingling between organic and conventional products, that organic products are protected from contamination with synthetic substances, and that the suppliers to the facility are also certified. The standard also requires that all lines are fully cleaned between conventional and organic production.

Molly says …

I recently bought Whole Foods brand peanut butter creamy - should I throw it away? or is it safe?

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!

ruth says …

I miss my fresh ground WF peanut butter. )-: The grind tubs are empty in my store. When will there be joy again? When will fresh grind pb once more brighten the bulk aisle of my friendly, local (Greenville, SC) WF? Is the absence a regional loss--SC being awfully close to that dastardly GA PCA which is, evidently, trying to poison us all? Please oh please I want my yummy fresh grind pb back!

Ashley says …

What about the fresh-ground peanut butter on the bulk aisle? I presume that's okay?

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!

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.

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

RecycleBill says …

Paige, Have you been able to find the answer to my question yet? It seems strange in the current green market place that an organic producer wouldn’t tout the fact that they’re organic. Unless, of course, they’re not.

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!

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?

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.

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.

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.

Caroline says …

Are the Whole Foods peanut butter flavored dog biscuits included in the recall?

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

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>

Jennifer Veltre-Gonzalez says …

I also bought the fresh ground organic peanut butter. Should we stay away from it just to be safe?

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.

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.

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.

Scott &amp; Beth says …

I recently purchased some Luna Bars from the Whole Foods near my house in Medford MA, today I found the products to be on the recall list so I threw them out. Is Whole Foods going to remove the recalled items from the stores or do I need to check them myself? How do I get a refund?

says …

@Scott &amp; Beth We have removed recalled products from our stores and are continuing to monitor the situation. If you would like a refund, please bring your receipt to the store and we will issue you a full refund.

paig292 says …

@Ron C: You are assuming correctly: our 365 Peanut Butter is fine and not affected by the recall. @Ron Bain: You reference "almond butter" which is not affected by the recall at all. Only peanut butter has been implicated. All of our private label peanut butters are not affected. @Rose: No major brands of peanut butter have been recalled and Jiff is not listed on the FDA website as having a recall on jars of peanut butter. @EVERYONE: I encourage you to check out the FDA searchable list of all products that have been recalled. It is extremely easy to use and will answer a lot of your detailed questions. Find the FDA's <a href="http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/peanutbutterrecall/index.cfm" rel="nofollow">searchable database</a> of all recalled peanut butter products here. @RecycleBill and PaulV: I don't know the answer to your question but I'll see if I can find out.

Rose Montgomery says …

I have Jiff Creamy Peanut butter in a 40 oz jar wich was made and packaged by the J.M. Smucker Company in Orrville,OH 44667. Is this part of the recall and is it safe to use and eat? The codes on the jars are D51500240908,use by May 16 2009. Please notify me as soon as possible. Thank you. Rose M Montgomery

PaulV says …

It's interesting to find out that so called "organic" products include the peanut butter from that plant, especially considering they are NOT an organic plant. Can someone explain the difference to me? My wife insists on purchasing organic food and at a greater cost.

Deigh says …

It is mentioned on this site that Whole Foods Market (WFM) has received assurances from manufacturers that peanut butter contained in specific Whole Foods products is not sourced from PCA. It could be reassuring to consumers for WFM to request proof from manufacturers of Whole Foods products containing peanut butter that the peanut butter used is infact not sourced from PCA.

Ron C. says …

I just bought some 365 Everyday Value Whole Foods Creamy Peanut butter. After making a dessert with it, I remembered the recall. I noticed that Whole Foods "Private Label" peanut butter does not contain product from PCA and is not on recall. I also noticed that the FDA recommends not using any peanut butter or products made with it. Is the 365 brand OK? I assume it is.

Mitch Beesom says …

Thanks for publishing the item list. I just recently bought a number of the items at the Whole Foods in Mill Valley, CA. Will retunr those I haven't eaten. And not sick, so that's good news. Just read a nice story about Whole Foods being on the Frtune top places to work list. Congrats. Here's a link to the Blog post: http://naturalspecialtyfoodsmemo.blogspot.com/2009/01/retail-memo-despite-its-battle-with-ftc.html You should put this Blog on your blogroll. It's been writing some of the best stuff about your situation with the FTC. it's www.naturalspecialtyfoodsmemo.blogspot.com Thanks again for posting the item. Might have saved my life:)

Ron Bain says …

Just to seek a clarification: We recently purchased Whole Foods "Chunky Almond Butter" (365). I assume this peanut butter is safe judging from Paige Brady's remark that "Peanut butter sold to consumers is not implicated in the FDA's investigation. FDA says that Major national brands of jarred peanut butter are not affected by the PCA recall." Thank you for your attention. Ron

RecycleBill says …

The PCA website <a href="http://recyclebills.squarespace.com/recycleblog/the-rich-go-dumpster-diving.html" rel="nofollow">makes no mention</a> of being a manufacturer of organic products-- why?

says …

@beth b So long as you have a receipt, you can "return" these items to the Whole Foods Market from which you purchased them. Our apologies for any confusion in this process.

josh says …

are nutty bars from little debbie safe to eat or will they make me sick?

says …

@josh We do not carry Little Debbie products as they do not meet our minimum Quality Standards, so I cannot speak to the safety of their products. I recommend checking out their website for more information or contacting their customer service department directly. http://www.littledebbie.com/about/news.asp

Margaret says …

I recently bought the WHOLE FOODS brand peanut butter covered pretzels. They are sold in the clear 9oz containers. Are those affected by the recall? It's not listed but I just wanted to know for sure. Thanks!

Meena says …

I went through the FDA site and they do mention dry roasted peanuts being on recall. http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/salmonellatyph/faq.html I know the 365 dry roasted peanut boxes we consume are not organic.Does this mean the recall extends to them too? Thank you, Meena.

shelju says …

I just want to say THANK YOU for being so diligent, cooperative and forthcoming with your customers on this PB situation. This is just another reason why I am a WFM fan!!!

Neyla says …

I am so upset about the Peanut Butter recall! What is going on in this world these days, nothing is safe anymore. I can't have peanut butter crackers when I deploy because I have to worry about if they are going to make me sick or not. I love peanut butter and now thats just one more thing I have to give up...its just sad!

Laurie says …

I have seven of the luna nutz ove chocolate bars that are on the recall list (I checked the sell by date &amp; upc code). Do I need the receipt to return these to the store?

Dale Elson says …

I am concerned about the many snack mixes that I buy from your bulk food bins. Some of these mixes sem to contain peanuts or peanut butter. Please address the possibility of contaminated peanut products in any of your bulk food mixes. Thanks............Dale

ann says …

On the 20th of January I purchased the last bag of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (6 pack )from the Bakery area. I was afraid to eat them when I started hearing about more recalls. Can you assure me they are okay?

NCat says …

I purchased some of your fresh-made bakery peanut butter cookies several days ago but have been scared to touch them - are they (&amp; your other fresh bakery products) safe to eat?

paig292 says …

@Laurie: No, you do not need to have your receipt to receive a refund. Just bring them in to your local store. @NCat: Based on the information currently available from the FDA, we have pulled any questionable source ingredients from our bakeries. Since the cookies are from a few days ago, they should be fine. If you have any concerns, though, please feel free to return them and exchange for a non-PB cookie.

beth b says …

perhaps i did not make myself clear. i will try again. 1. i buy clif mojo bars every weekend when i shop at WFM princeton. 2. i eat the clif mojo bars i bought on the weekend during the week. 3. after i eat the clif mojo bars, i discard the wrapper. 4. i have tried to ask the store if they sold any of the recalled bars before they took them off the shelves. 5. i have tried to ask the store if in fact they HAVE sold any of the recalled bars before they took them off the shelves, WHEN they sold them. 6. i have no bars to return to the store because I ATE THEM. i don't understand what's so complicated about my question. i do not have wrappers to check dates or to return to the store because I ALREADY ATE THE BARS I BOUGHT.

Brenda says …

What amount the dog treats that Whole Foods sells that contain peanut butter?

paig292 says …

@beth b: I'll try to help you out. Clif Bars has a full list of the products and lot numbers that are being recalled. The best way to get the most up to date information is to go to their website. We have links from our Product Recall page (link in the post above). Remember that many of these recalls are being made using the "abundance of caution" principle. Their products may not be implicated in any illnesses, but they are recalling them while the investigation is under way. If you would like to return any bars to the store, please feel free to do so regardless of the lot number.

paig292 says …

@Stacy: Peanut butter sold to consumers is not implicated in the FDA's investigation. The FDA says that “Major national brands of jarred peanut butter are not affected by the PCA recall.” I'll ask our food safety team about the Henry's/Wild Oats brand specifically, but there are no indications currently that any peanut butter like this is affected.

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!

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.

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