By now you've probably heard about the peanut-based salmonella. But do you really know what products are involved? And do you have confidence in food safeguards? According to a Harvard survey released Friday, February 13, 2009 the answer is No to both questions.
The recall of 1,900 products includes mainly minor-label peanut butter and a range of other items, but not major brand names of jarred peanut butter. Some of the peanut products recalled include snack bars, baked goods, ice cream and dry-roasted peanuts.
"A lot of people have taken some precautions but they're not looking at the ingredients in products not related to peanut butter," said Robert Blendon, the Harvard health policy professor who directed the survey.
The Harvard poll indicated little faith in corporations and the government. Only 33% of Americans said they have a good or great amount of confidence in food manufacturers or government inspectors to keep food safe.
Federal health officials are tracking a salmonella outbreak that has caused at least 636 illnesses in 44 states and has been linked to 9 deaths. The outbreak has been traced to a Virginia-based company, Peanut Corporation of America, that makes some minor-label peanut butter, peanut paste and other products.
The poll found that 37% had a good or great amount of confidence in government food inspections, down from 47% a year ago. About 48% had significant faith in grocery stores to safeguard food, down from 58 percent a year ago. Only 32% had significant confidence in food manufacturers.
This is the FDA web page that lists the peanut products affected by the recall.
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