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    Peanut Butter Recall Expands

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

    NEW YORK -- 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.

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

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

    They were joined this week by many more recalls. General Mills recalled two flavors of snack bars: LARABAR Peanut Butter Cookie and JamFrakas Peanut Butter Blisscrisp. General Mills said the recall did not affect any other products it makes.

    Clif Bar & Co. recalled some Clif branded bars -- including some under Luna and Clif Mojo labels -- sold in the U.S. and Canada that contain peanut butter made by Peanut Corp.

    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 federal authorities confirmed 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.

    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.

    Meanwhile, other companies were quick to assure the safety of their products. Russell Stover Candies Inc., maker of Russell Stover and Whitman's, said Monday it does not use ingredients from Peanut Corp.

    ConAgra Foods Inc., maker of Peter Pan peanut butter, said it was not involved in the investigation and neither the Omaha, Neb.-based company nor its suppliers use ingredients from Peanut Corp.

    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 does not buy peanuts or any ingredients from Peanut Corp.

    Mars Snackfood US issued a safety statement which reported it does not receive or process any peanuts or peanut butter from Peanut Corp., 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 are not impacted by the federal government's investigation into the outbreak of salmonella food poisoning.

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

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