Peanut butter at Simpson is safe after salmonella scare

Peanut butter at Simpson is safe after salmonella scare

by Kelsey KnutsonStaff Writer

Many students probably noticed the thin selection of treats and goodies going through the lunch lines last week. Due to a peanut butter recall, Simpson had to remove some products from the shelves.

Some of the items that were taken away included candy, Reeses peanut butter cups, cookies and regular peanut butter.

However, the products that were only temporarily removed as a precaution.

General Manager of Pfeiffer Dining Services, Blair Stairs, said it was done in looking out for students’ best interests.

“Removing peanut butter items temporarily was a precautionary measure,” Stairs said. “When we were notified our products were safe – we put them back up.”

E-mails from Dining Services were sent out campus wide, informing students of the peanut butter recall. On Jan. 19, all the cookies, candy and peanut butter were removed until further notice was sent out about their safety. On Jan. 20, the Reeses peanut butter cups were cleared and following that on Jan. 22, all items were returned.

Simpson College did not have to throw away any peanut butter items because nothing was contaminated in the stock. Sysco of Iowa, who supplies all peanut butter products and most food products to Simpson College, had all of its products deemed safe.

“I think everyone understood, and we didn’t have any complaints,” Stairs said. “We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding. Our priority is to keep our Simpson community safe.”

According to the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they have been able to confirm that the source of the salmonella outbreak is from the Peanut Corporation of America. The salmonella originated at a processing plant in Blakely, Ga.

The FDA also determined that the PCA distributed the potentially harmful products to more than 100 firms to use as ingredients in hundreds of products, such as cookies, crackers, cereal, candy and ice cream.

The PCA voluntarily recalled all of the peanuts and peanut products processed in the Blakely, Georgia plant since January 2007. The product recalls include some pet products that also contained peanut paste that was made by the PCA.

The FDA advises consumers that if they have any product on the recall list to dispose of it in a safe manner and to wash their hands after handling the potentially contaminated product.

Retailers have stopped selling the contaminated products and they are no longer on shelves in grocery and convenient stores.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention have been working with public health officials around the nation to investigate the salmonella outbreak. As of January 25 there had been 501 people infected with the strain of Salmonella in 43 states, three cases were reported in Iowa. The infection may have contributed to eight deaths.

It is important to point out that the national brands of peanut butter that is in jars found in grocery stores have not been affected. So students, you may still buy your major brands of peanut butter that is jarred.

The Hy-Vee Corporate Offices in West Des Moines did not comment on how the peanut butter recall affected the local Hy-Vee store in Indianola. For more information visit