Natural Peanut Butter Chunky on the leftThe Smucker's peanut butter recall has slapped me out of my complacent food safety nap. Usually when there's a product recall, I glance at the brand name and move on. Being the whole-foods, from-scratch, granola-type that I am, it's always some product I never use anyway. But when I heard "Smucker's Natural," I thought, WHAT? Smucker's who? That's the peanut butter WE buy! I put down my peanut butter toast and cried.
Smucker's is recalling its Natural Peanut Butter Chunky because of possible salmonella contamination. The recall is for jars purchased in the last week with "Best Used By" dates August 3, 2012 and August 4, 2012 and/or production codes 1307004 and 1308004. No illnesses have been reported. Check out this list of states where the peanut butter was distributed. And then, join me in mourning my favorite peanut butter.
Okay, so two thoughts here: 1) Phew, we always get the Smooth Natural Peanut Butter, not the Chunky, but 2) hey, what does this mean about the safety of Smucker's peanut butter in general? If something goes wrong with one of their lines, doesn't that cast the whole operation under a dark cloud? What's different about the chunky side of things that couldn't also happen to the smooth side of things?
Oh Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter. I loved you in spite of your annoying layer of peanut oil on the top of the jar, which I had to stir myself. Can I overlook this new flaw? Can I just shrug off the risk like this mom and go on loving you?
One thing makes me feel a little bit better -- at least this recall is relatively small so far. Compare this with the Great Peanut Butter Recall of 2009. Eight people died and over 1,000 products were affected! Compare that with 3,000 jars of just one Smucker's product recalled, plus 16,000 jars still at the warehouse that never went out -- that's 16,000 jars of peanut butter that will never make anyone sick. Looks to me like someone in this situation was proactive and decided to act quickly on a possible problem before it became a widespread disaster. Maybe there's hope for food safety, after all?
Are you worried about the Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter recall?
Image via Smucker's