Peanut Butter Products: A Salmonella Scare In The Philippines

On January 19, 2009 the Bureau of Food and Drug released an advisory for an immediate recall of selected peanut butter brands, peanut butter and peanut paste products in the Philippines that were already reported being recalled or withdrawn from the United State of America market for potential risk of Salmonella contamination. The action was made after a peanut butter processing company, food service industries and private label food companies announced a recall of peanut butter produced in its processing due to possible contamination of Salmonella.

Some of these top companies that their products were being recalled are, King Nut peanut butter, Peanut Corporation of American, Austin and Keebler among others.

The consumers have been warned by BFAD not to consume the products being recalled instead dispose them immediately. To stop eating products that contain peanut butter like, cookies, crackers, cereal, candy and ice cream until further notice to whether the product may be affected or not. If someone thinks that he/she have eaten a product that contains peanut butter and feels ill are advised to see a health personnel. And other preventive measures issued by BFAD as well as to manufacturers, distributors, importers, retailers, institutions and food service establishments.

To date, despite of BFAD's strict campaign of banning peanut products, there are still some bakeries and stores who are selling a labelled banned peanut butter products in Manila. On the other hand, supermarkets failed to execute an immediate pull out of the banned peanut butter products because of the late issuance of a memorandum for the recall.

Another food manufacturer, Samuya Food Manufacturing, Inc., a maker of Yummy Sweet and Creamy Peanut Spread and Ludy's Sweet and Creamy Peanut Butter products turned out to be contaminated with Salmonella. When BFAD inspected Samuya, they saw lapses in the food processing and the place itself. The floor is concrete instead of tiles, which causes dust to settle in. Some parts of the factory are no walls and cover making the products exposed to dirt and animal excrement. Right now, Samuya's operations were suspended for not complying the government's food manufacturing standards.

What is Salmonella by the way? Why the DOH and BFAD heightened the surveillance and ban if the product is positive to Salmonella? Well, Salmonella is a bacteria that causes Salmonellosis infection than can result to diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. If you are infected with this bacteria the normal days it will last is 4-7 days but you don't have to worry that much since in some cases you can recover without undergoing medical treatment. In severe cases, a person infected probably need be hospitalized. In this situation a patient should given an immediate medical attention because the infection my spread from the intestine to the blood stream which is the cause of death. Salmonella bacteria can be found in the feces of people or animals.

I hope the pulling out of all contaminated peanut butter products will be completed in no time so that there is no single chance that people might mistakenly eat this product and become a victim of this Salmonella bacteria. It's a good thing though that I don't really like peanut butter ever since - I love cheese!

1 comment:

Sheldon said...

Salmonella is so scary. It will truly suffer with its effects in your system. To check whether your food has it, ELISA kits will really help you to know. These has the capacity to diagnose if your food is contaminated with Salmonella.