US peanut butter contamination sees products destroyed in Australia

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 9th February 2009

In the wake of the salmonella peanut butter scandal, products from the US with peanut butter that may contain salmonella have made it to Australian shores.

A large number of manufacturers in America have instigated recalls of associated peanut containing food products such as peanut butter, peanut paste, ice cream, cookie dough, confectionery and pet foods –  with over 800 products subject to a voluntary recall.

FSANZ is still working with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to identify potentially affected product in Australia. On the 20th January 2009, the FDA confirmed that a brand of frozen cookie dough manufactured in the US, linked to the outbreak, has been exported to Australia. All of the imported product has been recovered and destroyed, FSANZ advised.

The FDA has also advised that a brand of protein bar containing peanut butter, subject to the US recall, had been distributed to Australia. Queensland Health is investigating the single importer to confirm whether they have affected product. Another product, Ocean Spray 170g Fruit & Nut Trail Mix, subject to a recall in the US, had been distributed in Australia but testing of the product for Salmonella in Australia was negative. The company has still decided to withdraw the product from sale as a precaution, however.

“FSANZ has worked with the International Food Safety Authorities Network, Australian Customs Service, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, the Food and Beverage Importers Association, the Australian Food and Grocery Council and Australian importers and, at this stage, no additional affected imported products have been identified,” the food safety body said.

One report of infection from this particular strain of Salmonella in Australia, Salmonella Typhimurium, has been discovered in an individual who has recently returned to Australia following international travel and it appears the person acquired the illness overseas.

FSANZ will continue to monitor the ongoing investigation, they advised.