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    Peanut Butter Recall Expands

    Amid a salmonella outbreak traced to Peanut Corp. of America, more grocers and manufacturers decide to pull items; others maintain safety.

    More food manufacturers and retailers recently joined the growing list of those pulling items with peanut butter amid a salmonella outbreak that has killed at least six people and sickened more than 470 in 43 states, Convenience Store News reported.

    Late last week, the Food and Drug Administration traced the outbreak to a Georgia plant owned by Peanut Corp. of America (PCA), which manufactures peanut butter and peanut paste for distribution to institutions and food companies.

    By Sunday, PCA expanded its own recall to all peanut butter and peanut paste produced since July 1 at its plant in Blakely, Ga.

    This week supermarkets such as Safeway, Meijer, H-E-B, Hy-Vee and Kroger issued recalls on their private label products that may have been contaminated.

    Additionally, several CPG companies issued recalls this week related to the outbreak. For instance, General Mills recalled two flavors of snack bars: LARABAR Peanut Butter Cookie and JamFrakas Peanut Butter Blisscrisp. The manufacturer said the recall didn't affect any other products it makes.

    Clif Bar & Co. recalled some Clif branded bars -- including some under the Luna and Clif Mojo labels -- sold in the United States and Canada that contain peanut butter made by PCA

    Kellogg Co. recalled 16 products last week, including Keebler Soft Batch Homestyle Peanut Butter Cookies, Famous Amos Peanut Butter Cookies, and Keebler Cheese & Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers.

    The company said Monday that federal authorities have confirmed that salmonella was found in a single package of its peanut butter crackers: Austin Quality Foods Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter, which had previously been recalled.

    Kellogg chief executive David Mackay said the company would evaluate its processes "to ensure we take necessary actions to reassure consumers and rebuild confidence in these products."

    Columbus, Ohio-based Abbott Nutrition recalled three products because of the possibility of salmonella contamination: ZonePerfect Chocolate Peanut Butter bars, ZonePerfect Peanut Toffee bars and NutriPals Peanut Butter Chocolate nutrition bars.

    Over the weekend, Little Debbie maker McKee Foods Corp. of Collegedale, Tenn. issued a voluntary recall of its peanut butter crackers because of possible contamination.

    Meanwhile, other companies were quick to assure consumers on the safety of their products. Russell Stover Candies, Inc., maker of Russell Stover and Whitman's, said Monday it doesn't use ingredients from PCA.

    ConAgra Foods Inc., maker of Peter Pan peanut butter, said it wasn't involved in the investigation, and neither the Omaha, Neb.-based company nor its suppliers use ingredients from PCA.

    J.M. Smucker Co., the nation's top maker of jams and jellies, assured customers that none of its products are involved in the national recall. Orrville, Ohio-based J.M. Smucker, whose brands include Jif, Eagle Brand, Pillsbury and Smucker's, said it doesn't buy peanuts or any ingredients from Peanut Corp.

    Mars Snackfood US issued a safety statement that reported it doesn't receive or process any peanuts or peanut butter from PCA, and that "consumers can continue to have confidence in the quality of all Mars Snackfood US products," including M&M's, Snickers, Twix and Kudos.

    Lance, Inc.; Tasty Baking Co.; Hershey Co.; and ConAgra Foods all separately said their products with peanut butter or peanut-based ingredients aren't affected by the federal government's investigation into the outbreak of salmonella food poisoning.

    The FDA has created a searchable list of recalled products and brands on the agency's Web site.

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