F.D.A. actions ensnare companies not a part of recall

by Keith Nunes
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WASHINGTON — On Sunday, Jan. 18, the Food and Drug Administration announced consumers should avoid consuming peanut butter or peanut butter containing products, because they may be linked to the Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak that has sickened hundreds of consumers. By the next day, the F.D.A. had amended its statement and was encouraging consumers to visit its web site and search its database of recalled products if they had concerns. Unfortunately, by that time the damage had been done as media outlets warned consumers to avoid peanut butter.

Media outlets such as MSNBC posted headlines that stated "Stop eating foods containing peanut butter, F.D.A. says." The confusion created by the F.D.A.’s Jan. 18 declaration prompted several food companies to try and cut through the confusing news by issuing press releases noting their products are not a part of the nationwide recall.

Companies that have issued statements that they are not a part of the recall include:

•ConAgra Foods, Inc., Omaha, Neb.

• The Hershey Co., Hershey, Pa.

• The J.M. Smucker Co., Orrville, Ohio

• Lance, Inc., Charlotte, N.C.

• Mars Snackfood US

• Sara Lee Corp., Chicago

• Smart Balance, Inc., Paramus, N.J.

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