Effect Measure

Annals of peanut butter, continued

PetSmart’s Grreat Choice Dog Biscuit isn’t such a great choice for fido because they contain peanut paste with salmonella. It may also not be so Grreat for fido’s owners:

Dr. Stephen Sundlof, a veterinarian who is the director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said that the risk to animals is minimal but that people who handle contaminated treats could come in contact with the salmonella bacteria.

“It’s especially important that children wash their hands after feeding treats to pets” because the bacteria could be on the surface, Sundlof said. (CNN)

PetSmart has removed the biscuits and hasn’t reported any illnesses amongst its customers. I’m not sure how its customers would call them, but that’s something else again.

Meanwhile FDA is saying the Peanut Corporation of America’s Blakely, Georgia processing plant is the source of the problem. Besides the pet food the plant makes cookies, crackers and ice cream, 125 products in all. The bug was found in unopened containers seeming to rule out post processing contamination. FDA expects more recalls. The latest is peanut butter granola bar in the NutriSystem product line. Salmonella infection would seem to be a pretty good way to lose weight, but I guess the company wants to earn its money the old fashioned way: by scamming you with advertising with the tiny letters at the bottom o the screen that say, “results not typical.”



  1. #1 Anonymous
    January 23, 2009

    “Besides the pet food the plant makes cookies, crackers and ice cream, 125 products in all.”

    This should be the real take-home message of the outbreak, as it should have been after this summer’s not-tomatoes outbreak. We have a food production and distribution system where mistakes (or negligence) at one place can contaminate hundreds of products shipped to every state and around the world. That’s a problem. And all of the criticizing (in some instances unfairly, in others correctly) of the government’s response to the problem won’t change the fact that the real problem is that it could happen in the first place.

  2. #2 MoM
    January 23, 2009

    Just a small point. I don’t believe the Blakely plant makes the pet food, the cookies, crackers or ice cream. It makes the peanut butter and paste that other manufacturers use in making pet food, cookies, crackers etc.

  3. #3 revere
    January 23, 2009

    MoM: Yes, that’s a better (more precise) way to put it.

  4. #4 ODS
    January 23, 2009

    The acting director of the CDC, Richard Besser, spent his days in the EIS investigating food-borne diseases. Maybe there is hope for America.

    CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/about/leadership/leaders/besser.htm

  5. #5 Anonymous
    January 24, 2009

    The allegation that Salmonella poisoning is a “good way to lose weight” is preposterous, insensitive and downright offensive / repulsive. If you haven’t read the news, people have died as the result of this peanut plant, not from the food manufacturers.

  6. #6 revere
    January 24, 2009

    Anonymous: LOL. For Crissakes, lighten up. I’ve written dozens of posts about this and my record is pretty clear on the seriousness of the food safety problem. You obviously missed the whole point of the comment, which wasn’t about salmonella but about the diet hucksters.

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