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Buttonstc's avatar

Salmonella in Almond and Peanut Butter ? How ?

Asked by Buttonstc (23784 points ) September 25th, 2012 from iPhone

After 29 people (many of whom were children) were sickened, Trader Joes voluntarily recalled the products in question.

But, how does Salmonella get into Peanut Butter in the first place? None of the news reports I saw and read mentioned that.

Should we be concerned with other major PB companies (Skippy, Jiff, etc.) as well ?

Evidently, they can’t eliminate it from eggs, regardless of which company sells them so is Peanut Butter next ?

Plus, with eggs, you can bypass the danger with proper cooking but obviously not with PB. So what’s going on here ?

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8 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

”.... any salmonella that makes it into peanut butter is more likely the result of an inadequate cooking process or contamination after roasting.”

”...peanut butter does make a good vessel for salmonella if it is introduced at some stage of manufacture. Although there’s not enough water in peanut butter to allow salmonella to grow, individual bacteria can live for months, or even years, trapped in the peanut oil.” Source

Just like all other bacteria arrive in scratches, wounds and tempting foods…the bacteria float down on teeny, tiny parachutes.

rooeytoo's avatar

This must have happened a few years ago as well. I remember my husband telling me and I too wondered how peanut butter could have become contaminated. Actually, I had no idea that peanut butter had eggs in it???

It’s pretty sad, peanut butter should be sacred and safe! This is very disillusioning.

Buttonstc's avatar

@rooeytoo

AFAIK peanut butter does not have eggs in it. Perhaps I confused things by mentioning eggs at all.

The reason I did was as a comparison since eggs and chickens are the food source most frequently associated with the presence of salmonella. And there really is no guaranteed company or producer upon whom we can reliably assume safety from the risk of Salmonella.

So, is that what’s in the future for Peanut Butter ? Today it’s the company in N. M. which produces the Trader Joes product in question, but could this also happen to other well known producers of PB? And, where does it stop then?

According to the link Gail provided, evidently the answer is that it could happen with other companies. You’re right, it is distressing.

Also, if you look at the end of that article, there are numerous other brands also produced by the same processing plant. A goodly number of them have the term “organic” in their name. That’s what shocked me.

Here in the US, legally speaking, there are strict requirements that must be met by any company to be permitted to include the word “organic in their labeling.

The word “natural” is also frequently used but is relatively meaningless because there are no specific requirements for it’s use. It merely sounds good but may not be.

But organic is different and usually is more desirable due to the requirements for it’s use.

But in this case, not much better regarding Salmonella.

That is distressing.

kimchi's avatar

Yeah! When I went to Trader’s Joe, there was a sign at the cash register that said “Peanut Butter: Please dispose or give back for a full refund. And then there was an explanation about salmonella.

flo's avatar

I just discovered there is such a thing as Human Salmonellossis. And it is associated with exotic pets. What do eggs and exotic pets have in common?

Buttonstc's avatar

@flo

Firstly, I’m not sure which exotic animals you’re referencing.

And I have no idea what eggs and exotic pets have in common; do you ?

gailcalled's avatar

^^^They are both carriers.

flo's avatar

@Buttonstc one of the exotic animals I’m referencing, iguana.
Here . here is a site for now

@gailcalled yes they are both carriers.

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