In case you haven't heard, there's a nationwide peanut butter scare. No need to put down the spoonful in your hand, though - your jars are safe!
It seems peanut butter and peanut paste produced by the Peanut Corporation of America may be tainted by salmonella. The product is sold in bulk and used primarily as an ingredient in other products.
On the surface, that may not seem like a big deal, but stop and think about all the peanut butter flavored foods we eat! Each day, we are getting notifications of three, four, five or more products being added to this recall list. Peanut butter crackers, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter ice cream, even peanut butter dog treats! We are doing the best we can to pass these along, but there comes a point where it just become overwhelming. I saw a lady at KMart buying some peanut butter cookie bars and I was trying to catalog in my mind whether I'd seen a notice pass through my email - I hadn't. I did eat peanut butter crackers out of our break room vending machine before I realized what I was doing - I came through okay! But I am wondering whether I should take the chance on my Little Debbie Nutty Bars stashed in my kitchen cupboard - they're not on the list yet and they're oh, so tasty! What harm could it do? Oh, that's right - six people have died from this mess - it's actually a serious situation.
In that regard, the FDA now is advising people to avoid any item containing peanut butter until it can resolve the investigation. Except Girl Scout cookies! The Girl Scouts specifically issued a release that their cookies are safe - they use peanut butter from a different supplier!
If you want to keep up on the latest peanut butter info, head to the FDA's web site, www.fda.gov. They now have a big icon for the recall front and center on their home page.