The Government Analyst/Food and Drug Department (FDD) is continuing inspection exercises around Guyana in search of peanut butter and other peanut byproducts that originated from the US after July 2008.
This is in light of an alert from the US Food and Drugs Administration that certain peanut butter brands were found to be contaminated with the bacteria, salmonella, which can be deadly.
Reports state that the tainted peanut butter is distributed by Peanut Corporation of America and King Nut Company under the brands “Parnell’s Pride” and “King Nut.”
Information from FDD state that all inspections in the Georgetown area proved favourable as no such brands were uncovered.
However, inspections are ongoing in other parts of the country, including Berbice and Essequibo.
However, although those peanut butter brands have not been located, there is still some risk involved with using any peanut byproduct.
The FDD, via a press release, has called on proprietors, managers and supervisors of wholesale outlets, supermarkets and other retail outlets to peruse their shelves and storage facilities for any product containing peanut butter that came from the US after July last year. According to the release, the peanut butter in question was sold in bulk to institutions and food producers.
“There is a possibility that articles manufactured by these companies might have been imported into Guyana,” the release stated.
The FDD warned against peanut butter sandwich crackers, peanut butter and jelly sandwich crackers, cheese and peanut butter sandwich products, and peanut butter-chocolate sandwich crackers.
“Proprietors, supervisors and managers are asked to remove from sale or hold any product that might be deemed as ‘suspicious’ pending further investigations by this department.”
This newspaper understands that there has been a nationwide outbreak of salmonella in the US linked to a Georgia peanut processor.
Reports are that more than 500 people have been sickened and at least eight may have died, with authorities faulting Peanut Corp. of America.
The outbreak has led to a massive recall of products ranging from ice cream to cookies.
More than 430 products have been pulled off the shelves in a recall that reaches to Canada and Europe.
On Friday, FDA officials urged consumers to be cautious about “boutique” brands of peanut butter, which had not previously figured in the recall. Although national brands of peanut butter are unaffected, FDA officials warn that some smaller companies may have received peanut products from the Peanut Corp. processing plant in Georgia.
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