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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Marler Clark: FDA Must Widen Salmonella Peanut Butter Recall

I am calling on the FDA to request recalls of foods containing peanut butter products manufactured in the Peanut Corporation of America’s (PCA) Blakely, GA plant. Tests have shown that product produced in the facility carries the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium, which has sickened at least 453 people in 43 states and Canada and may have contributed to six deaths.

“At least thirty companies purchased peanut butter or paste from a facility with a documented link to a nation-wide Salmonella outbreak,” said Marler. “The FDA has the authority – actually, the mandate – to request recalls if the public health is threatened. Instead, the FDA has asked the companies to test their products and consider voluntary recalls. It is just not enough.”

The earliest illnesses were documented in September, 2008 and have stretched over a 4-month period. At least 90 people have been hospitalized. Six people have had the outbreak strain when they died, and it is thought that the Salmonella infection contributed to their deaths.

“The CDC estimates that for every documented Salmonella illness, there are another 38 people who just “tough it out” and don’t go to the doctor or are never tested. That means that this outbreak may have sickened more than 15,000 people. It is the FDA’s responsibility to make sure that it doesn’t sicken anyone else.”

I have laid out specific recommendations over the last week:

• Make sure ALL product is promptly recalled;‚Ä®
• Do not destroy any documents;‚Ä®
• The companies should pay the medical bills and all related expenses of the innocent victims and their families;‚Ä®
• The companies should pay the cost of all related Health Department, CDC and FDA investigations;‚Ä®
• Provide all bacterial and viral testing of all recalled product and any other tested product (before and after recall);‚Ä®
• Release all inspection reports on the plants by any Governmental Entity or Third-party Auditor;
• Release all Salmonella safety precautions taken by either King Nut or Peanut Corporation of America – especially after the 2007 Salmonella Peanut Butter Outbreak;‚Ä®
• Provide the public with the Epidemiological investigation (with names redacted), so it is clear who knew what and when about the likely source of the outbreak; and
• Show the public what is being done to prevent the next outbreak.

“Not all companies will be as proactive as Kellogg’s in recalling their product, Marler continued.  “Which is why we have a government agency to make sure public health is always the first priority. The FDA needs to take swift and decisive action to get potentially contaminated products out of circulation.”

  • Nancy Cooper

    So this may just be coincidental, but I have had a very sick dog for the last few days and the only real difference in her diet has been the new peanut butter dog biscuits I purchased a little over a week ago. Where do the pet food industries get thier peanut butter from?

  • Sandi Beadles

    My daughter was poisoned by the peterpan poisoning back in 2007 and she has never recovered! She is on prescription medicine just to help her digest food and she cannot eat anything but fresh food. She is suffering everyday with stomach issues and arthritis caused by this. Nobody has a clue just how bad this is and I am shocked it is happening in peanut butter again. Someone has to do something! People need to have more info!!! My child has lost her childhood due to this and they should pay!

  • craig baker

    On 1/19 I called Shopper Valu to see if there dog treats were ok. On 1/22 they called back and said they are fine.
    During this time my dog was sick, and on 1/30 I became very sick and went to the doctor on 1/31. Did not know about the dog treat recall.
    On 1/31 my daughter went to the emergency room at the hospital and was treated for severe gastro issues.
    On 2/2 I saw these treats have been recalled. My dog lost 15% of his body weight and was sick for over a week. He is one year old and I’m not sure if he will be OK.
    I see Acme in Glen Mills PA pulled the treats but did not put a sign up.