Americans Fuzzy On Peanut Product Recalls

Open container of peanut butter. iStockphoto

More than 2,000 peanut products have been recalled because of the ongoing salmonella outbreak, and most Americans aren't aware of all those recalls, a new poll shows.

If you're confused by all the peanut product recalls, you can search the FDA's recall list , which is still growing daily.

The Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak linked to peanut products from the Peanut Corporation of America's plant in Blakely, Ga., has sickened at least 637 people in 44 states and one person in Canada. The outbreak may have contributed to nine deaths, according to the CDC.

The new poll comes from the Harvard Opinion Research Program at the Harvard School of Public Health. A nationally representative sample of 1,283 adults took part in the poll, which was conducted by phone Feb. 4-8.

The poll shows that most participants, 93 percent, had heard about peanut product recalls linked to the salmonella outbreak.

But when half of those aware participants were asked about the extent of those recalls, there were a lot of wrong answers.

For instance, out of 609 people who said they were aware of the peanut product recalls, 60 percent didn't know ice cream was involved, 47 percent didn't know candy was involved, and 25 percent said they thought major national brands of peanut butter were involved.

But in fact, major national brands of peanut butter sold in grocery stores aren't linked to the outbreak and haven't been recalled.

The recalls go far beyond peanuts and peanut butter. That's because Peanut Corporation of America products were used as ingredients in many foods besides peanut butter, including brownies, cakes, pies, candy, cookies, crackers, doughnuts, ice cream, pet foods, prepackaged meals, and snack bars - and those products have been recalled.

The poll also shows that 45 percent of all participants who said they were aware of peanut product recalls say they haven't stopped eating any foods containing peanuts.

Of course, recalled products shouldn't be eaten. The FDA advises consumers to throw those products away in a manner that prevents others from eating those items.

The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

By Miranda Hitti
Reviewed by Louise Chang
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