Local News

Inspectors search stores for recalled peanut products

Posted January 27, 2009 2:10 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— Inspectors from the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services fanned out across the state Tuesday to look on store shelves for recalled peanut butter products.

Thousands of packages of peanut products have been recalled nationwide after a Georgia plant was found to be the source of salmonella contamination.

Retailers such as Harris Teeter and Kroger have pulled products with peanut butter off the shelves as a precautionary measure. Tuesday's inspections focused on smaller stores, snack bars, vending machines and convenience stores.

At Jack Daniels Deli and Grocery in Raleigh, inspector Kay Snipes offered a clean bill of health. "Nothing on the recall list," she told store manager Kara Bond.

"I'm glad she came in and that everything came out OK," Bond said.

Most stores inspected Tuesday had gotten the message, Joe Reardon, food and drug protection director of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said.

The news was not as good for a Cary cracker plant. Cary’s Austin Quality Foods, part of Kellogg Co., which uses peanut butter from the Georgia plant, submitted 50 samples of products to be tested for salmonella bacteria. All but one returned a negative reading.

On Tuesday, a follow-up test found salmonella in a batch of peanut butter dated Sept. 19.Further tests will show if it's the same strain behind the nationwide recall. Just as in a criminal investigation, scientists look for a common strand of DNA.

Reardon said he could not be sure whether the infected peanut butter went into food produced at the plant.

At least 501 people in 43 states and Canada have become ill since August. Six of those cases, including one fatality, have been linked to North Carolina, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.