Since the initial warning, the FDA is also recommending that people not eat any Peter Pan peanut butter purchased since May 2006, no matter what the product code is.
Kids do eat a lot of peanut butter though and they are often most at risk from serious Salmonella infections, so parents should check to see if they have these products in their home and throw them away if they do. You can keep the lid and return it to get a refund, but to be on the safe side, throw the jar and peanut butter away. Unlike other food sources of food poisoning, it is not like you can cook or wash the peanut butter to remove the salmonella...
And be sure to call your pediatrician if your children have any symptoms of Salmonella, which can include fever, abdominal cramps, which are usually severe, and diarrhea, especially if they have eaten any peanut butter involved in this recall in the last 1 to 3 days.
Keep in mind that since this is also rotavirus season, it is probably more likely that your child has a simple stomach virus if he has diarrhea and vomiting and not salmonella, especially if he is in daycare or school...
Also remember that most people who develop salmonellosis, or a salmonella infection, get better without treatment over 4 to 7 days. Some infections are more severe though and according to the CDC, about 600 people die from Salmonella infections each year.
So far, according to the FDA, 288 cases of foodborne illnesses in 39 states have possibly been linked to eating Peter Pan peanut butter. Fortunately, there have been no deaths though.
What You Need To Know
- Don't eat Peter Pan peanut butter if you bought it since May 2006.
- Don't eat Great Value peanut butter if it has a product code beginning with '2111' on the lid or label.
- Call your pediatrician if you think your child has any symptoms of salmonella, especially if he has eaten peanut butter in the 1 to 3 days before the symptoms began. If your pediatrician suspects that your child does have salmonella, then stool cultures can be done to confirm that he has this infection, although your child will often be better by the time the results come back. You should also keep your jar of peanut butter for possible testing by your local health department or the CDC.
- People are reporting that they are getting refunds by returning the affected peanut butter lids, although sometimes the full jar is required, to their supermarket, or returning the lid or label to ConAgra Foods, the manufacturer of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter.
- Most importantly, don't panic. There have been relatively few cases of Salmonella infections compared to the amounts of Peter Pan peanut butter that has been sold and eaten since this has all began.