Blog | Thursday, February 26, 2009

Salmonella, and the sign of the devil


Though it seems like it's gone on forever, the salmonella-related peanut recall is far from over. New products are still added to the FDA's "recall" list on a daily basis, and the number of products on that list is well over 2,000.

A new poll by the Harvard School of Public Health finds that the public, while generally aware of the recall, is unaware of its scope. Less than half of those surveyed knew it includes snack bars, pre-packaged meals, ice cream, candy and jars of dry-roasted peanuts.

One big problem is that a lot of these products are the type that will sit on shelves or in freezers for months (or years), and by the time they are used, people will have long forgotten the recall. Providers should encourage patients to search their cabinets and freezers for any products that may contain peanuts, and check them against the searchable, online FDA database of recalled items (Too bad the URL is so unwieldy: www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/peanutbutterrecall/index.cfm).
Consumers can also call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) for product info.

(The latest figures, btw, show the outbreak has sickened 666 people in 45 states. That's right, 666.)