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Peter Pan & Great Value Peanut Butter Salmonella Outbreak and Product Recall

Feb 16, 2007 | www.fda.gov

Questions and Answers: 

1) What size containers, varieties, types of peanut butter are involved in the voluntary recall?

The voluntary recall includes all containers, varieties and types of Peter Pan peanut butter products purchased from May 2006 through present. All Peter Pan products are manufactured in a single ConAgra facility located in Sylvester, Georgia that is identified as 2111; the number 2111 is included in the lot codes for all products manufactured at this particular facility. Great Value products are manufactured at several different facilities including the ConAgra facility in Sylvester, Georgia. Only Great Value products with lot numbers beginning with 2111, indicating they were manufactured at ConAgra's Sylvester, Georgia facility, are included in the current peanut butter recall. The lot numbers beginning with 2111 should be on the lids of product.

2) What if there is no lot number on my Great Value peanut butter?

If there is no lot number on your container of Great Value brand peanut butter it should be discarded.

3) Where was the implicated peanut butter distributed?

The Peter Pan peanut butter was distributed nationwide and internationally. The Great Value brand peanut butter was distributed nationally through Wal*Mart. At this time we do not know if any of the Great Value brand was distributed internationally.

4) Are other brands of peanut butter of concern?

No. An epidemiological review of the reported illnesses implicated only Peter Pan peanut butter. Because, some Great Value brand peanut butter is also processed and packaged in the same production plant, it is believed to have a similar risk of being contaminated with Salmonella.

5) If I have only eaten a small amount of the contaminated peanut butter can I still get sick?

Yes. Eating even small amounts of contaminated peanut butter can cause illness.  Sometimes it takes several days for symptoms to develop.

6) I have eaten half a jar of the implicated peanut butter and have not become ill.  Is it safe to eat the remaining contents?

No. To be safe all potentially contaminated peanut butter should be discarded.

7) Are there special instructions for pregnant women who have consumed the implicated peanut butter?

No.

8) What if I ate the implicated peanut butter a few weeks ago and became ill at that time, should I be tested for Salmonella?

Salmonellosis typically lasts from 4-7 days and most individuals recover without treatment.  If you are not currently experiencing symptoms there is no reason to be tested. You should however report the incident to your local health department.

9) Can I use the implicated peanut butter to make peanut butter cookies or peanut butter icing?

No. FDA recommends that all potentially contaminated peanut butter be discarded.

10) If I have been diagnosed with salmonellosis and was eating peanut butter at the time should I send my peanut butter somewhere for testing?

If you have been diagnosed with salmonellosis and were eating peanut butter at the time of your illness and you still have the open jar, then notify your local health department as they may wish to collect the jar for testing.  Any unopened jars of peanut butter can be discarded.

11) What are the symptoms of salmonellosis? How long do the symptoms last?

The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.  In persons with poor underlying health or weakened immune systems, Salmonella can invade the bloodstream and cause life-threatening infections.

12) How long will Salmonella stay in your system after exposure?

In most cases Salmonella will be present in an individual's intestine for up to 3 days before they exhibit symptoms of illness. During the time one is actually sick they will continue to harbor the bacteria. For most people this is a period of 4 to 7 days, barring further complications. Occasionally the bacteria can linger in the intestines for a while even after the symptoms have resolved.

13) What is FDA doing?

Since learning of the outbreak FDA issued a press release and conducted media outreach to warn consumers not to consume certain Peter Pan and Great Value Peanut butter products.  FDA also sent a team of microbiologists and experienced field investigators to ConAgra's manufacturing plant in Sylvester, Georgia where the products are made to review records, collect product samples and conduct tests for Salmonella in an effort to identify the exact cause of contamination and eliminate it.  FDA will continue to work closely with CDC and state health authorities to track any additional cases of Salmonella Tennessee illness and to determine what actions must be taken to further protect public health. FDA will continue to provide updates to the public as the investigation unfolds.

14) Has the peanut butter been voluntarily recalled by the firm?  Where can I access the recall notice?

Yes. ConAgra has initiated a voluntary recall of the potentially contaminated Peter Pan and Great Value brand peanut butter products.  A press release describing the recall can be found at www.conagrafoods.com. Consumers with questions or concerns about the recall can call ConAgra’s 24-hour toll-free hotline at 866-344-6970.

15) How do I get a refund?

For a full refund consumers should mail the Peter Pan Peanut Butter or Great Value Peanut Butter product lid along with their name and mailing address to ConAgra Foods, P.O. Box 3768, Omaha, NE 68103. Questions or concerns about the recall are being received by ConAgra's 24-hour toll-free hotline at 866-344-6970.


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