Contaminated peanut butter - are you at risk?
By: Crystal Britt
By: Crystal Britt
JACKSON, Mo. - Do you have a jar of Peter Pan or Great Value brand peanut butter in your cupboard? If so, it might be contaminated with Salmonella. The bacteria's making hundreds of people sick in 39 states including Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
Check that jar in the pantry, and look on the top. If it has a product code starting with 2-1-1-1 then you need to throw it out. Even if it's an old jar, the possible contamination dates back to May of last year.
Jake Wheeler of Jackson says he's felt awful the last week. And all last wee the 13-year-old has blamed the stomach flu. His mom thought the same until on her way to work she heard about a recall on the brand of peanut butter her son eats all the time. "I called my husband and we had the same product code my son eats for lunch everyday at school", said Penny Wilson.
She pulled him out of school, and took him straight to the doctor where they drew blood. They're still waiting for results. "I still think the chances are slim, but you've gotta take precautions", said Jake. "It's not something you want to take lightly, especially with young children", said Penny.
That's exactly what Jean Ann Burke thought. She's the director of Angels Aware Early Learning Center in Cape Girardeau. She went straight to the daycare's kitchen cupboard, and checked the jar of peanut butter on the shelf. "As it turns out , we have a jar of Peter Pan Peanut Butter with the number 2111, and it's almost empty", said Jean Ann.
The kids have been eating it, but parents should know your kid would have likely gotten sick within 12 to 72 hours if he or she ate contaminated peanut butter. "It's a concern for us as child care providers that we serve food that's safe and healthy for them", said Jean Ann. So, she did what you should do, tossed it out.
The contaminated peanut butter came from a ConAgra plant in Georgia. There is no word yet on exactly what happened. If you have the peanut butter and do not throw it out, in most cases you'll be able take it back to the store for a refund. Workers at the Food Giant in Cape Girardeau tell Heartland News they're giving people their money back, whether the product's been opened or not. You need to bring in the whole bottle, not just the lid.
So how do you know if you have Salmonella? It's often mistaken for the stomach flu. Symptoms include: headache, muscle aches, diarrhea, fever, nausea, and vomiting. The illness is rarely deadly, but is considered dangerous if you have a weakened immune system. If you think you have it, contact your doctor.
From the ConAgra web site:
If consumers have this product, they should discard it, but save the product lid. For a full refund, consumers must return the Peter Pan Peanut Butter or Great Value Peanut Butter product lid along with their name and mailing address to: