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Completely Nuts

This growing peanut butter recall is outrageous--and not simply because I am a fool for Nutter Butters. (Last I checked, Nabisco products were still safe, praise Jesus.) The fact that the perpetrator in question--the Blakely, Ga., plant of the Peanut Butter Corporation of America--has over the past three years received multiple citations for violations of health codes from the Georgia Department of Agriculture is bad enough. Anyone can have a bad day--or a bad series of days. 

But it seems significantly more sinister that, on at least 12 occasions in the past two years, the plant's products tested positive for salmonella and, instead of quarantining the product and clean the facility, the operators simply ran retests and, when those came back negative, promptly shipped the poisonous peanut butter out the door.

How nuts is that? (Ouch. Sorry.) I mean, as any teenage girl whose missed a period will tell you: If you take a pregnancy test and it comes back positive, then you take a second test and it comes back negative, you don't just call it a day and go with the answer you like. When the stakes are this high, you spring for the third test.

It takes a company either irretrievably stupid or criminally negligent to instead play Russian roulette with consumers--especially when said company already has a shaky record on health and hygiene issues. (Tip for PCA officials: Folks are a lot less likely to dismiss this type of incident as an innocent mistake when you have a history of not cleaning up your plant following health violations.)

Either way, someone probably needs to go to jail over this matter. And the Blakely facilities need to be taken away from its current operators and handed over to someone with a less free-wheeling approach to food prep (not to mention consumer health)--or who, at the very least, might find the time to clean the "food residue" off the walls every now and again. 

In the meantime, be sure to check your cabinets against the ever-lengthening list of recalled products. 

--Michelle Cottle