Two Nut Related Recalls: Skippy Peanut Butter and Hazelnuts

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There are two recent nut related recalls, both voluntary, both announced two days ago March 4, 2011.

The first is from Unilever United States, Inc. who announced a limited recall of Skippy® Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread and Skippy® Reduced Fat Super Chunk Peanut Butter Spread, because it may be contaminated with Salmonella.

To date, no illnesses related to this issue have been reported. The recall was initiated as the result of a routine sampling program by the company, which revealed that these finished products may contain the bacteria.

The recall is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). No other Skippy® products are affected by this recall.

The peanut butter was distributed in 16.3 oz plastic jars to retail outlets in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Check your Skippy peanut butter to see if it is labeled with the following UPCs codes and best-if-used-by dates:

  1. UPCs:048001006812and 048001006782 (located on the side of the jar’s label below the bar code.)
  2. Best-If-Used-By Dates:MAY1612LR1, MAY1712LR1, MAY1812LR1,MAY1912LR1, MAY2012LR1 and MAY2112LR1 (Stamped on the lid of the jar.)

Consumers who have purchased Skippy® Reduced Fat Peanut Butter Spread with the above UPCs and Best-If-Used-By-Dates are urged to discard the product immediately and call the company for a replacement coupon. Consumers can contact the company at 1-800-453-3432,which is operational 24 hours a day, for information on the recall. In addition, a consumer services representative is available Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 AM and 6:00 PM EST.

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Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

The second nut related recall involves the voluntary recall by DeFranco and Sons of Los Angeles, CA, of bulk and consumer-packaged in-shell, hazelnut and mixed nut products containing hazelnuts because they may be contaminated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacteria (E. coli O157:H7).

The recall was initiated after the nut products were linked to 7 illnesses in the states of MI, MN, and WI. To-date, no E. coli 0157:H7 has been detected in the nut products; however, we are notifying our valued consumers and customers out of an abundance of caution.

Symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 infection may include abdominal cramps and diarrhea which is often bloody. Most infected people recover within a week; however, some may develop complications that require hospitalization. Young children and the elderly are at highest risk for a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which includes kidney failure.

DeFranco and Sons received the in-shell nuts from suppliers or growers and subsequently distributed the nuts nationwide and to Canada. The 50 lb bags of in-shell hazelnuts or mixed nuts with hazelnuts may have been repacked or sold in bulk containers to consumers.

Consumers who think they may have the affected hazelnut or mixed nut products containing hazelnuts should not eat them and are urged to check with their place of purchase to determine if they are subject to the recall. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 800 993-3992, Monday thru Friday from 2:00 to 4:00 pm Pacific time.

A list of the affected nuts which were distributed between 11/2/10 and 12/22/10 can be found here.

Sources
Food and Drug Administration (press release, March 4, 2011)
Unilever (press release, March 4, 2011)

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