Monday, January 19, 2009

Welcome to My World...Peanut Butter Declared Unsafe to Consume by The FDA

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I read the latest newspaper reports these last few days stating the FDA's warnings to consumers regarding peanut butter. Apparently a salmonella outbreak has made it unsafe to consume--for everyone. All of a sudden the safety of peanut butter is a big crisis for a whole lot of folks who've never given it a thought (or had to.)

For example, on Friday, my youngest daughter's Girl Scout leader was emailing parents and warning them about not eating peanut butter. (It was kind of her to do this...don't get me wrong.)

For days now, the FDA is strongly urging people not to eat peanut butter. They are more than willing to admit that peanut butter can make you very sick...and in some cases it can kill. (Salmonella can be fatal in some people.)

Sound familiar? Welcome to our world.

It's interesting to me that the FDA will spread this peanut butter story (no pun intended) all over the news when salmonella is involved, but they won't take a hand in recalling foods that are mislabeled for potentially deadly food allergens...such as...wait for it... PEANUT BUTTER.

Why the double standard? Clearly, the food allergy community needs to keep the pressure on.

Also, all these folks that say they oppose a peanut ban because their kids won't eat anything for lunch but peanut butter? Will they try something new now? My guess is yes. Avoiding peanut butter is a novel concept that many people will be forced to try due to this salmonella outbreak. Think they'll survive without it for a few days or weeks? I think we all know the answer to that one.

I also wonder if it will generate any more compassion for those of us who deal with this every day and know that we will never get an "all clear" on the safety of peanut butter.

In any case, it looks like a lot of people will get an involuntary dose of the "peanut-free" way of life. I'll be watching with interest.

7 comments:

Elaine said...

I just find this whole thing amusing. Like you, I can not wait to see it unfold.

Jennifer B said...

It is a bit ironic, isn't it? Yet, I suspect the average person won't learn much from the experience. Like anything these days, it will soon become a distant memory. On the other hand, perhaps the soy butter and sunflower seed butter folks will seize this as a major marketing opportunity. Just getting a few more people to try and be willing to try again the non-peanut butters would be helpful.

Jenny said...

Yes, if there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that nothing much will hold people back from PB!

Debbie said...

I just got a call from Keebler about some of their peanut butter crackers-- they have been recalled. They are also sending me a letter. We don't have the crackers obviously, but I thought it was interesting that they would call people and send them letters (somehow we must be on their mailing list). I wish they would spend the money on making all their food safer. Maybe the average person won't learn anything, like Jennifer said (I totally agree, I don't think they will really pay much attention)-- but hopefully the food companies will learn from it. We will see I guess.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Jennifer! You are SO spot on. Thank you for having this blog!

Jenny said...

Thanks for commenting everyone and Debbie, thank you for that very interesting info!

Debbie said...

I will have to e-mail you a copy of the letter, if they really send it. Should be interesting.