Nuts! Bacteria Prompt Peanut Butter, Hazelnut Recalls

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FDA

Some jars of Skippy Reduced Fat Peanut Butter Spread have been recalled because of potential contamination with salmonella.

Some Skippy peanut butters are being recalled because of possible salmonella contamination. Separately, hazelnuts distributed by a California company have been associated with an outbreak of illness in the Upper Midwest.

This is just nuts.

There are two nutty recalls under way right now involving some of my favorite snacks — peanut butter and hazelnuts. The problems: Salmonella and a nasty toxin-producing strain of E. coli.

First, there's a recall of some Skippy peanut butters because of salmonella. Well, technically, the stuff is classified as "peanut butter spread" because it's less than 95 percent peanuts. Anyway, Unilever, maker of Skippy, says you should stay away from some batches of Skippy Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread and Skippy Reduced Fat Super Chunk Peanut Butter Spread.

The company says testing of Skippy samples revealed that some of these products may contain bacteria.

Which jars are affected? Look for 16.3 ounce plastic jars with the following info on their labels:

  • Universal product codes: 048001006812 and 048001006782 (on the jar's label below the bar code.)
  • Best-If-Used-By Dates: MAY1612LR1, MAY1712LR1, MAY1812LR1, MAY1912LR1, MAY2012LR1 and MAY2112LR1 (Find those on the lids.)

Unilever says there haven't been any reports of illness from the spreads.

Separately, if you like hazelnuts, or filberts to some, there's apparent trouble with bacteria on unshelled nuts sold in bulk bins at some grocery stores. The Centers for Disease Control and several state health departments are investigating an outbreak of E. Coli 0157:H7 in the Upper Midwest.

Seven people have fallen ill from the same bug. The public health sleuths found a common distributor of the hazlenuts: DeFranco & Sons of Los Angeles.

The company says it hasn't found any of the bacteria in its nuts. But DeFranco is recalling quite a few of them "out of an abundance of caution." You can find a list of the affected products here. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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