Peanut Recall Hurts Food Banks

The massive peanut product recall has been a real headache for Connecticut-based Foodshare, which caters to the fight against hunger in 42 towns of Hartford and Tolland counties.

Gloria McAdams, president of Foodshare, said her organization has had to train, again and again, volunteers about which products they should be looking for because of recalls.

Food banks, including Foodshare, have had to throw away thousands of pounds of food over the last few weeks.

This is particularly painful for food banks across the country because peanut butter has been a staple at food pantries. Peanut-based products are high in protein and have an extended shelf life, so they are ideal items to keep on hand.

There have been so man recalls that bulletin board postings are used to keep everyone, including those picking up donations, up-to-date on the latest.

The Federal Drug Administration Web site includes a link to the recalled products on its home page the peanut recall page has several categories.

It's a cheap alternative and people love peanut butter and since this recall, it’s been very difficult,” John Russell, of Community Solutions, said. “So we stay away from anything with peanut butter in it to avoid any problems.”

But food banks are being cautions. Foodshare officials said that when in doubt, they throw products out so not to risk anyone’s safety.

The FDA identified peanut butter and peanut paste made at a peanut-processing plant in Blakely, Georgia, owned and operated by Peanut Corporation of America as the source of the outbreak.

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