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February 12th, 2009
10:03 PM ET

Peanut Products and Fear

The Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) is getting hammered.  First, peanut butter and peanut paste products made at a PCA plant in Georgia are linked to a nationwide outbreak of salmonella, affecting hundreds of people.  Then, on Thursday, the Texas Department of State Health Services recalls every product ever shipped from PCA's plant in Plainview, Texas.  Why?  Because dead rodents, rodent droppings and bird feathers were found in a crawl space above a production area.

Now one thing we want to point out is that the jars of peanut butter that you buy on store shelves are NOT affected.  But dozens of other products are, making one of the most fundamental foods in our diets one of the most feared. 

When Congress questioned PCA's president this week about the salmonella outbreak, he took the Fifth, saying very little.  What do you say - both about the recalls and peanut products?

Carl Azuz, Anchor


Filed under: News Coverage
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Joseph

    Oh Noes. I just wan't my peanut butter back.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  2. brandy

    I say they should have made him eat some of the food in the jar. Also he should have explained. Because now other charges can possibly be pressed against them if someone gets sick.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:44 pm |
  3. Mr. Dubins Class

    national brand name jars of peanut butter like Skippy and Jif are not associated with this outbreak of salmonella, They shouldn't be concerned about those particular products. All we know is our class likes Peanut Butter

    February 13, 2009 at 6:44 am |
  4. Alina

    Wow. There's so much in our diets that consist of peanut products. Peanut butter crackers, cookies... but I have to say I'm not surprised, people have let things get worse, though I'm surprised that it was the PCA that let it get bad.

    February 13, 2009 at 8:51 am |
  5. Dustin

    They should just shut down the peanut companys and make new peanut plants and get the peanuts from Africa or sumthing like that

    February 13, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  6. Brandon

    peanuts scare me now and I think all peanutbutter should be recalled

    February 13, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  7. JoHn

    the peanut corperation was stupid. they knew that the peanut butter had salmenella in it. the speaker of the peanut corp. should just come out with the truth cause he's goin to get the consequenses any way. hes just making the trial longer. te longer he holds it off the longer he will be in jail.

    February 13, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  8. Bethanny

    I am horrified at the state of cleanliness in these faculties! They handle things we consume things that we eat, you would think that they would be more careful! I am just horrified with the way things are progressing. I used to LOVE peanut butter .... now I'm not so sure.

    February 13, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  9. michael

    i am afraid of penuts now i don'nt want to get sick so i have no eaten anything with them for 5 weeks

    February 13, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  10. Felicia

    Carl,
    Could you find out what peanut products were affected for me?

    February 13, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  11. Johnny

    I just want to blog.

    February 13, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  12. Felicia

    Also, everybody else Girl Scout cookies are safe to eat and the peanut butter in the Tagalongs and Dos-i-dos don't come from PCA. So no worries about GS cokies.

    February 13, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  13. Teacher Nicci's Class

    One of our students thinks that the president of the peanut company should be held responsible for the peanuts. Others think that he should go to jail and have to eat his own peanut butter, Justice!!! If you see dead birds and rats how in the world are you going to allow the peanuts to get processed. The person who let the products out of the factory needs to spend at least 15 years to life with no parol, he killed people and it should be looked at just like murder.

    February 13, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  14. larysa

    its scary because who knows what other big food companies we trust arent testing their foods for dieseases and that we eat each day so they can make a quick buck

    February 13, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  15. Riley

    I thick that people should not compleatly stop buying peanut products . but should be carfull about what they buy

    February 13, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  16. Raekwon

    Peanut butter is my favorite thing on earth and it is a shame that someone was too lazy to clean up the animals.

    February 13, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  17. Elijah

    Scary situation!
    I love peanut butter, but if people are dying from it, then I would totally give it up!

    p.s. Carl Azuz ROCKS MY SOCKS!!!!!

    February 13, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  18. Breanna Rae(-;

    that really sucks that that happend.last year it was tomatoes which i love, and now its peanut butter, which i lovetoo!there still selling peanut butterand mymom wont letmehaveanylol i really want somethough! 🙂

    February 13, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  19. trevor

    The whole thing is just a mix up, it isn't like they meant to hurt anyone on purpose!!!

    February 13, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  20. jared

    it is a mistake.nobody was suppost to get hurt!!!!!!

    February 13, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  21. kaylee

    The food should be exammended. Imagine how many people got sick or even died from the Salmonella and know one knew what the cause of there death or sickness is from!!! Three years is to long

    !!!!!

    February 13, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  22. jordan

    i beleave they should just stop using penut butter in this state,and just sew the people that has been selling it.i would rather stop selling the penut then ltting someone die from it and i wanted to say for the families that lost one of there family members ill keep your families in prairs

    love you guys
    bye

    February 13, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  23. aj

    now come peanut butter there is the plain peanut butter but the thing that
    have it in it are off the shelves

    February 13, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  24. Mr. Miller

    I think that it is terrible that the peanut producers allow their products to be contaminated with Salmonella.

    February 13, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  25. Sean

    i hope that peanutbutter goes extent

    February 13, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  26. Angel

    Does that mean no more pb&j sandwiches

    February 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  27. Hunter

    It's taking the Peanut Butter of the Banana Sandwich! On noes! Sorry Elvis!

    February 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  28. Jose'

    If the peanut products are being sold to innocent buyers who spend their precious money during these tough, economic times on them and are being harmed by the products, well the Peanut Company shouldn't be let off so easily and be struck with the full fury of whoever is suing them.

    February 13, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  29. Luis

    I don"t care if they band Peanuts but don't band my sweat peanut butter.

    February 13, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  30. larry

    This is a serious problem if we don't have peanuts we don't have peanut butter

    February 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  31. Ricardo

    Hi! why do you want your peanut butter back is I don't have it

    February 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  32. Lupita

    If we do not have peanut, how in the universe would my mom make thoes delisious sandwiches of rich peaunuts? You are doing bad taking the peaunuts away!!!

    February 13, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  33. larry

    I predict that if we don't have earths peanuts we don't have health and my mom says it is bad for us.....

    February 13, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  34. Rene

    I think that the president of the peanut products should have cleaner factories to avoid any more deaths because of peanuts

    February 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  35. trevor

    I think that it is a big mistake. They didn't mean to hurt anyone, they were just trying to get there products shipped safely.

    February 13, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  36. jared

    nobody was supposed to get hurt. I just want my PB and J already!!!

    February 13, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  37. trevor

    It is all a mistake. If anything was suppose to happen, it would be the shipping of the products.

    February 13, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  38. casey :)

    I love peanut butter! Only a mean person would do something to taint it.

    February 13, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  39. Mr Dubins Class

    We thunk that this Peanut thing is just a bunch of stuff. Its sad that people are taking away things and getting people in trouble when we really dont know if its actually there,

    February 13, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  40. Mali

    I think this is wrong!!!! Why would you use old peanuts to make peanut butter now??? Yew... Im staying off of pb&j for a while!!!

    February 13, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  41. Mary

    The recall is a smart move made by the Texas Department of State Health. Hopefully this will help keep people healthy in the state of Texas. Maybe if this works other states will follow their examples. I personally don't like peanuts so I'm not that upset about it. But it's disappointing to know that The Peanut Corporation is this dirty/ infested. The FDA should have known about this before it got to out of hand.

    February 13, 2009 at 7:50 pm |
  42. Utau

    Uh...I don't know what to say, but right now I will not eat ANYTHING with Peanut butter in it no matter where it's from. And I love peanut butter, so this kinda sucks.

    February 13, 2009 at 7:55 pm |
  43. Carlos

    This has something to do with salmonella and why is the Peanut Corporation of America hammered?

    February 13, 2009 at 8:17 pm |
  44. meg

    yea who wants that peanut butter! thats sick!

    February 13, 2009 at 8:22 pm |
  45. Zudi

    The company just filed for bankruptcy. Take THAT contaminated peanut paste!!!!

    February 13, 2009 at 8:41 pm |
  46. Tashina

    Well shouldn't the factory have checked every nook and cranny to make sure they were clean to aviod an out-break like this? Its just not right.

    As with the recalls and peanut products...they better hurry up with this check up, my brother can't live with out peanut butter, in any shape or form.

    ~Tashina

    February 13, 2009 at 9:23 pm |
  47. harry

    I just hate all of peanuts

    February 14, 2009 at 12:40 am |
  48. Jacki

    Lincoln was so cool!

    February 14, 2009 at 12:42 am |
  49. Jacki

    GIMME MA PENEWT BEWTER!!!!!!!

    February 14, 2009 at 12:43 am |
  50. izzy and piper

    I think all peanut productions should be taken back because multiple people have been getting the sickness from peanuts. The peanut companies should stop producing for a while until they can figure out what is happening.

    February 14, 2009 at 1:55 am |
  51. Stephanie

    The thing is, people in the factory SAW all of the dead rodents and droppings and bird feathers. They saw it with their own eyes but did not care. Not even 1% of their conscience felt anything when they saw the contaminated peanut products.

    Also, the president of the PCA was on trial and pleaded the 5th. However, he witnessed the contamination and obviously knew about it. Yet he did nothing to stop it. He himself should be placed in jail for 50 years with no parol. The Peanut Corporation of America should be shut down until it can live up to the FDA's standards. If they cannot pass one health inspection every month for six months, they should be put out of business. Another peanut company can then expand and be the leading producer of peanut products. So for all you peanut butter lovers, we will still have peanut butter!!!! 🙂

    February 14, 2009 at 9:13 pm |
  52. Grace

    Though the Constitution obviously allows them to take the fifth in this situation, I think it made them look worse. When you've done something wrong, it's better just to own up to it instead of dancing around the situation.

    I'm glad that the peanut butter was recalled. Economic crisis or not, that's no reason to continue making products that can put people in hospitals.

    February 14, 2009 at 9:31 pm |
  53. Anonymous

    I think there doing the right thing. I don't know about you guys but im pretty sure i dont want salmenela or rodnt droppings in my peanutbutter

    Elijah

    February 15, 2009 at 7:33 am |
  54. Elijah

    This is all crazy to me. I love peanutbutter even more than the next guy but im also sure i dont want rodent droppings in it either

    February 15, 2009 at 7:36 am |
  55. Tom

    People changing their diets from peanuts is like the first step from changing our energy uses to solar, wind etc.

    February 15, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  56. Jeremy

    This is a big problem and I think the Buisness should be shut down, if the person in charge is proven guilty, if not, he is sent to jail. 5th Amendment or not.

    February 15, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  57. Evan

    Elephants love peanuts, but why should we?

    February 15, 2009 at 9:43 pm |
  58. Ms.Boose Social Studies Class

    The government should hold the company responsible. Several people have died and many others are sick. The company was responsible because they did not take care of rodents found within their building.

    February 16, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  59. David

    Well, apparently, by pleading the fifth, he knows something. Also, shouldn't they have cleared a sort of inspection? Having rodents and such should have tipped them off to something; I mean, it's common sense: dead animals = unhealthy.

    February 16, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  60. yashe22

    the company should be closed
    government should not tolerate this

    February 16, 2009 at 7:10 pm |
  61. Camryn

    I think that the recalls are good for our safety, but I don't think we should recall every single peanut butter product, not the jars, but maybe any of the other products that include peanut butter, or any of those products that include the peanut butter brands that have been recalled, or where they grow their peanuts are close to where the other peanuts that have been recalled are grown should be recalled.

    February 16, 2009 at 8:00 pm |
  62. Me

    National brand named peanut butters like jiff and peterpan aren't affected. People shouldn't be worried as much as they are, considering they don't even know for sure it's there. Everyone should holdback on buying pre-made food products with peanutbutter inside, but not start a riot over it.

    February 17, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  63. Louella :)

    I think that they should keep the recall until they are sure theirs no salmonella in the products.........because i don't want to die from peanut butter.

    February 17, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  64. Kenadie

    I think with the peanut products they should take them out of ALL store cause where i live there are still peanut butter products in in stores. There are alot alot of people getting sick form peanut butter products.

    February 17, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  65. tasha

    i think we should put the production of peanut butter and peanuts on hold it will cause people to get layed of for a while until we find what this is coming from but its a risk we are going to have to take, because more and more people are just going to get sick and even possibly die if we dont do something soon

    February 17, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  66. Michael

    I still love them

    February 17, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  67. Jillian

    This is nutts (excuse the pun)
    I love peanuts and peanutbutter. But i dont love it when now i think about poop and dying whenever its near. It's just too gross.

    February 17, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  68. tyler

    i love pb now i fear it 😦

    February 17, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  69. Charlie

    People in penut factories need to do their job right. People are dying becouse of peanuts and the factories that make peanuts and peanut butter. Its rediculous.

    February 17, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  70. jordan

    i hate pbj i only like my howmade penute butter:(:(

    February 17, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  71. Cheyenne

    I just really want to have peanut butter and peanut products back!!!!!!!!!

    February 17, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  72. Stacey

    I used to eat a peanutbutter and jelly sandwich everyday for lunch but, now im scared to eat anything that contains peanutbutter. I think that they should take better care of the places they make the peanutbutter because its practicaly a food group.

    February 17, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  73. ♥MiZz MaRiE♥

    dang that is crazii i neva thought that penut butter could be so deadly

    p.s. scary

    February 17, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  74. Merkin

    I think it was a goof idea to recall the products. You never know. They should aslo recall all the peanut butter products so nobody else gets sick. It would be bad to die from peanut butter. Who wants to die from somethign so good?

    February 17, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  75. nina.

    thats absolutley revolting. just urghh. no more peanut butter for me. i'll stick with good ole' vitamins.

    February 17, 2009 at 9:06 pm |
  76. KK

    1. Gross BEYOND reason.
    2.Like most of you guys said they should have been recalled or just put the brakes on the pb until what the whole source is from the crap that's being put in it.
    3. I LOVE PB!!!!!! 🙂

    February 17, 2009 at 11:17 pm |
  77. Emily

    Well from what I hear only a few products have found the salmanela in them................how can they tell anyway?

    February 17, 2009 at 11:52 pm |
  78. MW & MG

    It's good that the plants are being shut down because it is gross that these plants passed health inspection!!!! People have died from this and it's very bad. They need to fix this problem!!!!

    February 18, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  79. Marie

    I think that if it was just an outbreak and they didn't know then yes it was a mistake and we should just be aware. But, if they sent the products out anyway even though they knew that they were contaminated that is just wrong!!!!!!! The company stated the fifth and wouldn't talk about what they were being accused of.They also found that the factory wasn't very clean. And the company just filed for bankruptcy. Which means that they can't really charge them with anything. Makes me wonder.

    February 18, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  80. Maggie

    Well for one, now I can't grab a reese's peanut butter cup (my favorite snack) without thinking of being sick for weeks on end. I think that PCA should pay every one that gets sick, and the families of the people that got sick and died. They were irresponsible and should be punished.

    February 18, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  81. shaniah

    i think that they sould press very high charges but i dnt think this is the worst of our problems

    February 18, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  82. Charlie

    Dont be scared to eat penutbutter. If you get sick sue the penut company and take your wife out to eat in this bad econemy with the money.

    February 19, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  83. alyssa

    No more peanuts! Wow I don't know if I could live with out those things!

    February 19, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  84. alee

    i don`t think people shouldn't stop buying penut butter all togother . i mean how can we have pb &j swanwitches

    February 19, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  85. P.B.J.

    Forget the war, forget the economy, we have a crises here, Obama!!! Save us!!

    February 19, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  86. Amanda

    I think its stupid to still sell this who cares if you go out of buisness you are just killing people which you YOU should be ashamded of!

    February 19, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  87. Veronica

    I think that this topic is very important for our community to know! if peanut butter is actually affecting our health then they should STOP! selling peanut butter : or even if they think that peanut butter is going bad the they should still stop selling the product because it can risk our life and even our healths and its actually very important to let our community know what is in these products and whats around it and what its causing us.

    February 19, 2009 at 8:05 pm |
  88. Tommy

    I love my peanut butter, and even though there is an outbreak of slmoenila in the peanut butter ill eat it anyone. So will my dog, Cooper.

    February 19, 2009 at 9:47 pm |
  89. daedae

    well i really much of a peanut fan but after what i heard i won't eat it i don't know if any one else will eat it?

    February 19, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  90. Sammy

    People should just find out the brand of peanut butter that is not tainted, and they should use that…duh

    February 20, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  91. Kay-Lee

    I LOVE PEANUTS AND I LOVE YOU CARL!!!
    (BUT NOT SOO MUCH YOUR JOKES)

    February 20, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  92. kate

    Im sad, I love peanut butter. I ate a wacht ya ma call it (a type of peanut candy!) last night . Im scared. lol

    February 20, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  93. Libby

    If he doesnt give the people more explanation then his butt will get sued. Sorry to be so blunt on the issue but its a fact.

    February 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  94. Nick

    Who cares, just don't eat peanut butter! Thats all you have to do.

    February 24, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  95. freckles

    I have eaten peanut butter crackers in since the day the salmonella scare came out. I watched the news while eating one. And nothing has happened.

    February 25, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  96. Charlie

    If factory owners would do the job right than there would be nothing to worry about.

    February 26, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  97. Markeesha

    I don"t care if there might be salmonella! i'm still going to eat my peanut butter girl scout cookies!

    February 27, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  98. Kayla

    I really dont care. mostly because i dont like peanutbutter, its to dry.
    I mean seriously, if people would do their job right, nothing would be wrong

    February 27, 2009 at 7:49 pm |
  99. Jaycee

    I think that the Nut house should just come up with a new
    "ANTI-Salamonela, Cleanliness Plan!"I really hope this dosen't effect Resse's Cups or Girl Scout Tagalongs, because that would be tragic..... Seriously you have to love them their classics!

    February 28, 2009 at 8:45 am |
  100. Jaycee

    Just don't try to give your pets peanut butter unless you want them to get salamonela!

    February 28, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  101. natalia

    people should realy do their job right so they dont cause harm to people !! it is realy scary how you are risking your life by just eating a penut butter sandwitch

    March 1, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  102. keisha

    am just horrified with the way things are progressing. I used to LOVE peanut butter …. now I’m not so sure.

    March 1, 2009 at 8:34 pm |
  103. Angel

    I dont care if they get rid of peanut butter because i dont even like it, but the rest of my family likes it so keep it......but not if it is going to get them sick!!! 😉

    March 3, 2009 at 7:51 am |
  104. Kara

    I don't really think that they should be scaring everyone like they are. We have medication and stuff that can help us if we get sick. I just want peanut butter back. Our school already took the PB&J's away. I think that it has gone too far.

    March 3, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  105. Kara

    I'm still going to eat my peanut butter! I love it and if people don't want to get sick, they don't have to eat it. It's that easy. But nooo, people have to make a big deal about it and ruin it for people that do like it. It's just stupid.

    March 3, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  106. Cody!!!!!!!!

    Carl
    I had a peanut butter sandwich for lunch i hope i do get Salmonella poison i love nutter butters.

    March 3, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  107. Sophia

    I think that first peanut butter is disgutsting, but I also think that they should inspect the area where their food is being manufactered!

    March 4, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  108. Samantha

    I believe President Obama economic stimulus plan will be good for America though their are things that some people won't agree with

    March 6, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  109. Ally

    peanut butterytreats are to good to give up and do you mind givin a shout out to mrs.Berkes's class

    March 6, 2009 at 9:04 pm |
  110. Chin-yen

    Jeez Carl why would you have a secuirty camra in a school???? It's not the police station Carl. Did the deer like just break the glass into the school???Ehhhhh

    March 7, 2009 at 9:54 pm |
  111. weston

    i hop thay dont take it all away

    March 9, 2009 at 2:52 pm |