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I eat an apple with almond butter almost every day. It’s my pre-yoga breakfast. Every so often I switch it up with fresh ground peanut butter, although not often. I create nut butters by grinding whole nuts, so I’m not too concerned about food safety. But as a “food” person, I thought I’d throw out some information on the current recall of peanut butter from the Peanut Corp of America (PCA) due to a salmonella outbreak. The FDA has confirmed that the outbreak resulted from products originating at the PCA plant in Georgia. At this point, 486 people from 43 states have become ill. It’s serious β€” with over 100 hospitalizations and 6 deaths. We have 12 reported cases here in Colorado. Ohio has the most at 65. For a state by state list, consumer recommendations, and information about salmonella, check this site at the Center for Disease Control.

PCA doesn’t sell peanut butter directly to the consumer, so jars of major national brands aren’t affected. It’s the processed foods you need to worry about. Some manufactures use peanut butter or peanut paste to make cookies, crackers, bars, cakes, etc. Keep in mind that peanut butter is also used in making dog treats, so it’s not only people food we need to be concerned about with the recall, but dog food as well.

While there are lots of what I’d call junk foods on the recall list, two good ones jumped out at me β€” Clif and Luna Bars. I occasionally eat Clif Organic Nectar Bars, which don’t come in peanut butter flavor, but you might want to check this list if you buy Clif products. For a current (as of today) list of all recalled products, check here. The list is long and some foods have been exported to other countries, so if you eat peanut butter treats, make sure they aren’t part of the recall.

It’s not always easy to do, but eating local food and knowing where your food comes from helps diminish food safety issues.

In good health,

14 Responses to “rethink your peanut butter treats”

  1. Cid says:


    Your almond butter looks very good but I imagine it takes a lot of grinding to get it that smooth…. I ought to try to make some myself.

    It interests me that more and more people in the UK are finding out about food allergies. Just yesterday I was having a coffee with a friend I hadn’t seen for a while… she’s apparently allergic to dairy products and is ‘careful’ with wheat. Sometimes I wonder if lots of us are mildly affected by certain foods but never find out for sure. She’s not supposed to have coffee either so I thought I’d make her a chai tea with low fat coconut milk as we’ve mentioned before… hope she likes it!

    With regard to the peanut butter fiasco you are currently experiencing in the States, it’s shocking news and doubly so in a product that perhaps one wouldn’t think of as being a candidate for Salmonella.


  2. Lo says:

    Hey, thanks for putting the list out there. We tend to buy locally ground nut butters, so we’re not feeling the impact of the recall so much. But, products like Luna bars didn’t even occur to me.

    Thanks, Melissa!

  3. Miles says:

    I had no idea about that, it’s very serious.On a lighter note I must say that’s a great photograph.


  4. Melissa says:


    This picture is actually of peanut butter, not almond. The market I go to has fresh nuts in bulk and you grind your own right there. I’ve done my own cashews and walnuts in my food processor, but the professional version at the market works much better.

    And yes, more and more people are discovering they have food sensitivities. Lots of reasons for that. Worthy of another month’s worth of blog posts!

    It does seem unusual for peanut butter to be contaminated. Salmonella is a group of microscopic bacteria that can pass from the poop of people or animals to other people or animals. ICK!

    Nasty stuff, no doubt. Makes you want to grow all your own food, doesn’t it? Or at least know where it came from.


  5. Melissa says:

    Lo — and Kellogg’s is recalling a few products. Peanut butter is used in so many products that it’s definitely wide spread. As with you, I don’t really eat any foods that would qualify, but the Clif Bar thing hit closer to home. I eat those Organic Nectar Bars on occasion so I really perked up when I saw they were doing major recalls.


    Yes, it’s a great photo — mainly because I didn’t take it.


  6. Cid says:


    Wonder if Miles has a professional nut grinder in his business? You can imagine the scene whereby there’s a queue of people at the tradesman entrance all clutching a bag of nuts hoping for a pot of premium nut butter. πŸ™‚ Better still you ask him and I’ll hide πŸ™‚


  7. Melissa says:


    I recently made a proposal to Miles about swapping personally requested posts. He blogs about something of interest to me and I reciprocate. I think I’ve bothered him enough for now. You can throw out the nut grinding question.


  8. Miles says:

    I’m waiting for you!!

  9. Melissa says:

    Okay, okay. Gosh, do you ever slow down and just relax, Miles? I thought you Brits were a mellow bunch — you know — crumpets and tea, afternoon naps, bird-watching, sitting by the fire. I’ll stop by soon and fill you in.

    Hey everyone, my favorite English chef (Miles) is going to trade blog ideas with me. I’ll keep you posted (no pun intended — well, maybe).

  10. Kay says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I just ordered some PB2. It’s peanut butter powder with the oil removed. It has 85% fewer calories than regular peanut butter. You mix it with water.

    I eat peanut butter nearly every day, and would love to cut calories! I’ll post after I’ve done a taste test.

  11. Thanks very much for this information, Meliss! One person reported on our support group listserv that Larabars had been pulled from her store’s shelves. I just googled “Larabars pulled” and only saw where they’ve pulled their peanut butter cookies and bars, but this person reported all of her store’s were off the shelf. I guess stores are being very cautious, which is good. I didn’t see Larabars in a quick scan of the list you linked to though … maybe I overlooked it or maybe there’s are mandated recalls and voluntary recalls. ?

    How awesome that you can grind your own nut butter right at the store! I have to say that an apple and nuts is one of my all-time favorite breakfasts. πŸ™‚


  12. Melissa says:


    Here’s an updated list of recall items. Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s has jumped into the recall pool. There have also been 4 more deaths (11 total now?) in the past couple of days and many more people added to the hospitalization and sick list.

    Everyone, please check the recall list as this is serious stuff. Many of these companies are recalling items for precautionary reasons, not necessarily because their items have been tested to be tainted. Who knows, but better safe than sorry.

  13. Melissa says:

    Hi Kay,

    Keep us posted on your new way of eating peanut butter! Sounds interesting and something that might be awesome for camping, except that I always want the extra calories while backpacking.


  14. Kelly says:

    Wow. I didn’t realize people had died. That’s sad.

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