Minnesota Department of Health announces late Friday that the have linked thirty illnesses ( and a death) to the consumption of King Nut Peanut Butter (and Parnell’s Pride?).  There is nothing on the CDC website or other State Health Department sites naming names – yet. On Saturday King Nut and the FDA jointly release a recall notification, but King Nut blames the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) for its problem. PCA’s lawyers write a press release that tries to deny as much as possible.

So, what is next? Here are a few ideas (not in any particular order) that the companies involved and the government should do Monday morning:

1.  Make sure ALL product is promptly recalled;

2.  Do not destroy any documents;

3.  The companies should pay the medical bills and all related expenses of the innocent victims and their families;

4.  The companies should pay the cost of all related Health Department, CDC and FDA investigations;

5.  Provide all bacterial and viral testing of all recalled product and any other tested product (before and after recall);

6.  Release all inspection reports on the plants by any Governmental Entity or Third-party Auditor;

7.  Release all Salmonella safety precautions taken by either King Nut or Peanut Corporation of America – especially after the 2007 Salmonella Peanut Butter Outbreak;

8.  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,

9.  Show the public what is being done to prevent the next outbreak.

Taking these steps will go a long way in convincing us that food safety and consumer confidence is of primary importance both to the companies and the government.