Americans Fuzzy on Peanut Product Recalls

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%, 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% didn't know ice cream was involved, 47% didn't know candy
was involved, and 25% 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% 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
©2005-2008 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved

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