Earlier Peanut Butter Contamination Kept Quiet?

In the March 5, 2007 posting in www.consumeraffairs.com a “Retiree Says Infested Peanut Butter Was Quietly Buried.”  The full story:

While the Peter Pan/Great Value peanut butter episode took most consumers — and, seemingly, most food safety regulators — by surprise, it was nothing new to Sanford Bass, a Topeka, Kansas, retiree.

As Bass remembers it, the first Peter Pan peanut butter salmonella outbreak occurred back in 1971 or 1972. He was then working for Derby Foods, a division of Swift & Co., in Chicago.

“We recalled (the peanut butter) to our broker warehouses, loaded it into 13 box cars, and buried it in a phosphate mine owned by Swift in Agricola, Fla., located on the then-Seaboard Coastline Railroad,” he told ConsumerAffairs.Com.

“The culprit in this situation was three strains of Salmonella resulting from poultry products produced at the same plant,” Bass recalled. “We were down for several months until we could effectively clean the piping system to prevent further contamination.”

Bass said his job was to work with the food brokers to arrange for the transportation of the contaminated peanut butter and get it to the phosphate mine in Agricola for burial.

Was the government notified and the Salmonella-infested peanut butter recalled? Bass doesn’t know.

“I had no knowledge of reporting procedures of these problems to government agencies, nor was it my responsibility. This was the function of management,” he said.