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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

It Has Been a Busy Week with the Peanut Butter Press

– "First suit tied to peanut butter-related salmonella outbreak is filed"

– "Peanut Problems Compound"

– "Peanut processor faces lawsuit in salmonella outbreak"

– "Burlington Mom sues over salmonella"

– "Vermont couple sues peanut butter product maker, says 7-year-old son sickened by salmonella"

– "FDA confirms salmonella in Kellogg peanut butter snack"

– "FDA says to skip peanut-butter products"

– "Peanut butter recall list grows"

– "PB and Salmonella: The Latest Sandwich

– "Feds do little to determine scope of spreading peanut butter poisoning"

– "Government issues peanut butter warning"

– "Government ‘Don’t eat products with peanut butter’"

  • Mary W.

    Why can’t food companies perform adequate testing to ensure their products are safe?
    What’s needed are heavy fines and jail time for food company CEO’s.

  • This is shocking and will go down as one of the most serious of FBI outbreaks in our history. Anytime you mix a pathogen with a RTE food, and an immune compromised population, you will see this severity and morbidity and mortality. One of the travesties here is that this product is/was known to carry a hazard in the past, and was targeted to an at risk population, and at all stages of the distribution system, did anyone at any level think of testing this product? A salmonella test cost $75.00.
    We have claims that PCA had a rigorous testing program, yet investigators had no trouble finding salmonella at the plant. We continue to hear calls for “how do we prevent this”. That question cannot be answered unless we find out how this happened, and the ConAgra incident, as well, but obviously, testing of the product would have turned up salmonella in a routine scan. Are the hospital and nursing home QA people awake out there? Think of Kellogg’s putting this paste in a product and not testing it? Think of the distributors throughout the nation, what are their supplier controls?
    Instead of experts asking how to prevent this in the future they should be demanding that an answer be found to how salmonella moves through this food production system and how it slipped through. Folks who are operating HACCP systems need to start thinking about something more in the way of supplier controls above and beyond a silly continuing letter of guarantee and a COA once a year.. . if at all. And what about a traceability system? I have been helping folks establish these for years, its still not mandatory..and a recall system? Same thing. You want to prevent it, fine start here.
    This is another example of where FDA has been very weak of late, no leadership, just sitting back on thier heels waiting for the next peanut butter, hot dog sauce, veggie snack, or pot pie outbreak to occur trying to steer the course with no hands on the wheel, maybe its not not their fault but we (the food industry) are getting deeper and deeper in trouble.
    Roy E Costa, R.S., M.S./M.B.A. Public Health Sanitarian Consultant Environ Health Associates, Inc 1.386.734.5187 http://www.haccptraining.org http://www.safefoods.tv rcosta1@cfl.rr.com