The FDA’s Website is useful if you have the time to search for everything that might contain Peanut Corporation of America Salmonella-Tainted Peanuts. My strong suspicion is that the FDA’s "simplified" PCA distribution chart will leave you scratching your head (click below to download PDF).
It is a bit hard to grasp how one company with three plants, producing only about 1% of the peanut products in the United States, could be responsible for 666 illnesses and 9 deaths in 45 states, as well as the recall of 2,750 products from over 200 manufacturers. The cost in illnesses and deaths are shocking and will be high – perhaps 50,000,00 at least. However, the recall costs, the cost of destroying product, lost sales, stock prices, profits, etc., of the companies recalling product and others who grow or use peanuts will be at least $500,000,000 or more if any past foodborne illness outbreaks are a guide.
When will the costs be enough to make consumers, industry and government invest to prevent the next outbreak? Sometimes it makes one wonder how humans could evolve so far, but still seem incapable of planning for the future.