Stores issue refunds for peanut butter

By Staff
Melissa Cason, FCT Writer
RUSSELLVILLE – Local supermarkets were busy issuing refunds for peanut butter Friday after it has been linked to the 300 cases of salmonella that have swept the nation since August.
ConAgra, makers of Peter Pan and Great Value-Wal-Mart's private label- peanut butter, issued a recall for all the peanut butter with the product code beginning with 2111, according to news release.
"Although none of our extensive product tests have indicated the presence of salmonella, we are taking this precautionary measure because consumer health and safety is our top priority," ConAgra spokesman Chris Kircher said.
ConAgra is working closely with the Food and Drug Administration to better understand its concerns, and they plan to take whatever measures are needed to ensure the safety, quality and wholesomeness of their product, Kircher said.
All stores nationwide have been instructed to pull all brands of Peter Pan and Great Value made at the Sylvester, Ga. Plant from the shelves. The FDA said that only the peanut butter with the code 2111 is affected in the recall.
"The code 2111 indicates that the product was made at the Sylvester plant," the agency said.
Locally, Wal-Mart and Foodland are issuing refunds to customers who bring the jars back to them.
"We have pulled all the Peter Pan from the shelf and are issuing refunds to customers," Tyler Harris, assistant manager at Foodland in Russellville, said.
The stores will be instructed from their warehouse as to what should be done with the peanut butter, Harris said.
Down the street at Wal-Mart, who pulled two brands from their shelves, customer service associates collected many jars of both brands. Some customers only brought only the lids back to the stores, as instructed by national news. However, Wal-Mart encourages everyone to bring in the jar to make the refund go faster.
Wal-Mart customer Dana Chard brought several jars of Peter Pan back on Friday saying that her children have been sick with the stomach virus for weeks now, and wonders if their illness is linked to the peanut butter.
The largest salmonella cases were reported in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee and Missouri, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, fever, dehydration, abdominal pain, and vomiting.
Twenty percent of the 288 infected people have been hospitalized but no one has died, the CDC said.

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