As many major news broadcasts have made apparent, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in the midst of an investigation into the source of a recent salmonella outbreak.
This salmonella outbreak, according to the FDA website, has been linked to “the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) at its Blakely, Georgia processing plant,” which produces one percent of all U.S. peanut products. The PCA does not sell directly to consumers, but rather to food manufacturers. According to the FDA, The PCA has distributed potentially contaminated peanut products to more than 100 companies “for use as an ingredient in hundreds of different products, such as cookies, crackers, cereal, candy and ice cream.”
This outbreak resulted in at least 30 salmonella related infections in Minnesota alone.
An e-mail released by Dean of Students Hank Toutain assured Gustavus students that “all products prepared/served at Gustavus have been checked and validated safe.” All products, that is, except for the Clif and Luna bars sold in the Courtyard Café.
Clif and Luna bars with peanuts as an ingredient have been pulled from the shelves and will not be sold until cleared by the FDA. It is not certain if the bars tested positive for salmonella, but they have been removed as a precautionary measure.
Director of Dining Services Steve Kjellgren was notified of Clif and Luna Bar’s previous use of PCA products and took them out of circulation. “Gustavus rarely comes across recalls, but we constantly compare our inventory to updates on the FDA website,” said Kjellgren.
“If students have any of these bars in their possession, [the bars] should be discarded,” said Toutain.
Dining Services “feels confident that none of the health of our students was jeopardized,” said Kjellgren.
While Clif and Luna bars were the only products on campus to be pulled, other products that students may have in their possession should be checked as well. A full list of products associated with the PCA can be found online at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/peanutbutterrecall/index.cfm.
Alternatives to the Clif and Luna bars, such as Gensoy, Odwalla and other energy bars, can be found in the Courtyard Café.