Update: Vets told to watch animals as dog biscuits join growing recall list
by Lynne Terry, The Oregonian
Wednesday January 21, 2009, 2:08 PM
The recall list in the salmonella outbreak grew to more than 125 items today, as federal officials pulled prepared dinners, Trader Joe's snacks, dog biscuits and other items.
Today marked the first time that entrees have been recalled with Dinners Ready meals pulled off the market and the first time that consumers have been warned about dog biscuits.
The dog biscuits prompted Oregon's public health veterinarian, Emilio DeBess, to asked vets statewide to report back on any dogs with diarrhea or vomiting, which are signs of salmonella poisoning.
Other state officials officials sent telephone messages to all registered retailers in the state, from large grocers to small mom and pop stores, warning them about the outbreak that's sickened 486 people. (See list of recalled foods below.)
Though big stores, such as Fred Meyer, have staff focused on the outbreak who have pulled products within hours of being recalled, some small stores and gas stations might be out of the loop, said Ellen Laymon, manager of food safety at the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
"We're concerned about people who don't watch the news or who don't read English and might not be getting the mainstream news," she said.
The state waited until today to call retailers because it didn't know until late Friday that tanker trucks filled with potentially contaminated peanut butter and peanut paste had gone out to manufacturers across the country, Laymon said.
DeBess acted hours after the dog biscuits were recalled this morning. He said it could take awhile to hear of any cases, but warned to wash their hands after touching dogs who are sick because of the potential of picking up the bacteria.
If an animals has consumed peanut butter treats and has diarrhea or is vomiting, take it to your vet.
The recall list has grown longer since the weekend after the company at the heart of the outbreak, Peanut Corp. of America, expanded its own recall of peanut butter to include peanut paste.
Peanut Corp. sells to 77 distributors and manufacturers that turn the paste into hundreds of products.
As federal officials track the web of sales among Peanut Corp.'s customers, the recall list will continue to grow, said William E. Keene, senior epidemiologist at Oregon's Public Health Division.
So far, 486 people have been sickened in 43 states and Canada. They include seven people in Oregon, with two and possibly three more cases popping up this month.
Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days and most people recover without treatment though it can be fatal to those with fragile immune systems.
At least six deaths, including one in Idaho, have been linked to the outbreak.
Oregon officials are running tests on potentially contaminated products, including Austin and Keebler peanut butter sandwich crackers.
So far the tests have not detected salmonella, Keene said.
"It doesn't mean it isn't there, it just means we haven't found it," he said.
The latest items that were recalled today include:
• Dinners Ready Asian Marinated Flank Steak with Sesame Vegetable Stir Fry, Indonesian Chicken with Coconut Rice and Chicken Satay & Bangkok Peanut Sauce with Jasmine Rice. (You can get the details here.)
• Ready Pac Cool Cuts Celery with Peanut Butter, 12/6.75 oz., dated 12/27/08 to 2/2/09, with UPC code 077745-22415-2
• Trader Joe's Celery with Peanut Butter 12/6.75 oz., dated 12/27/08 to 2/2/09 with a UPC code 0048-5401
• Trader Joe's Celery with Peanut Butter 30/6.75 oz., dated 12/27/08 to 2/2/09 with a UPC code 0048-5401
• Eating Right Apples with Peanut Butter 12/6.75 oz., dated 12/27/08 to 2/2/09 with a UPC code 0-79893-70175-2
• Eating Right Celery with Peanut Butter 12/6.75 oz., dated 12/27/08 to 2/2/09 with a UPC code 0-79893-70172-1; you can find more information here.
• Optimum Energy Bars Peanut Butter flavor bars made by Nature's Path Organic Foods of British Columbia, Canada, with a best before date of 01OCT09A and sold as a 2 oz. (56 g.) individually wrap bar with a UPC code of 0 58449 77715 1. (Check out more on that here.)
• NutriSystem Inc.'s Peanut Butter Granola Bar, 1.41 oz. (40 grams), with lot codes of TC08158A, TC08188A, TC09158A, TC09168A, TC09178A, TC11148A, TC11178A. (Find out more about this recall here.)
• Premier Nutrition's vanilla, chocolate and peanut butter Twisted Nutrition bars, with a best by date of Aug. 1 through Jan. 9, 2010
• Premier Nutrition's Twisted Nutrition Bar sold in 15 and 24 count variety packs with a best buy date of July 1 through Jan. 9, 2010
• Premier Nutrition's chocolate peanut crunch Titan Nutrition bars, 25 g. and 80 g. size, with a best buy date through Dec. 17, 2009. For more about Premier Nutrition's recall go here.)
• Classic Breaks Peanut Butter Cookie Dough in 2 lb. packages made by Country Maid Inc. that were sold nationwide from Oct. 6 through Jan. 9 through fundraising groups. The recalled products are coded 26208, 26308, 29808, 33808 and 36508. (Find more about that here.)
• Boca Grande Foods Poco Pac and Grande Gourmet peanut butter and peanut butter and jelly items (Get details here.)
And consumers should not feed their dogs these PetSmart biscuits that were sold between Aug. 21 and Jan. 19:
• Small assorted biscuits, 32 oz., with a UPC code of 73725702900
• Small/medium assorted biscuits, 4 lb., with a UPC code of 73725700601
• Small/medium assorted biscuits, 8 lb., with a UPC code of 73725700605
• Small/medium assorted biscuits, 10 lb., with a UPC code of 73725702755
• Large assorted biscuits, 8 lb., with a UPC code of 73725700638
• Extra large assorted biscuits, 8 lb., with a UPC code 73725700779
• Peanut Butter biscuits, 4 lb., with a UPC code of 73725700766
Find out more about the dog biscuits here.
For more on the outbreak, check the FDA Web site here. In Oregon, consumers and retailers alike can call the Department of Agriculture at 503-986-4720.
-- Lynne Terry; firstname.lastname@example.org
PetSmart Voluntarily Recalls Grreat Choice® Dog Biscuits
PetSmart Customer Service
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- PHOENIX, AZ, January 20, 2009 -- PetSmart is voluntarily recalling seven of its Grreat Choice® Dog Biscuit products that contain peanut paste made by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). PCA is the focus of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation into potential salmonella contamination of peanut butter and paste made at its Blakely, Georgia facility.
Although PetSmart is not aware of any reported cases of illness related to these products, it has removed these products from its store shelves and website and is conducting the recall as a precautionary measure.
The recalled products include only the following types of Grreat Choice Dog Biscuits sold between Aug. 21, 2008 and Jan. 19, 2009:
Small Assorted 32 oz., UPC 73725702900
Small/Medium Assorted 4 lb., UPC 73725700601
Small/Medium Assorted 8 lb., UPC 73725700605
Small/Medium Assorted 10 lb., UPC 73725702755
Large Assorted 8 lb., UPC 73725700638
Extra Large Assorted 8 lb., UPC 73725700779
Peanut Butter 4 lb., UPC 73725700766
Customers who purchased the recalled dog biscuit products should discontinue use immediately and can return the product to any PetSmart store for a complete refund or exchange. Customers can visit http://www.petsmartfacts.com for more information or contact PetSmart Customer Service at 1-888-839-9638.
No other products or flavors are included in this recall.