Over the past week or so, as I have been assisting a client with in-depth research on the nationwide recall of peanut products due to salmonella contamination, I have had the opportunity to learn a great deal about the issue. Please be advised that this recall is expanding rapidly and is likely to affect products in your own pantry. I receive daily updates from the FDA, and I have been shocked at the sheer numbers of recalls coming out every day, for all sorts of products, from whole peanuts to pet food. As of Thursday afternoon (2/13), the number of affected products had exceeded 2000. And now that the recall has been issued to products made as far back as 2004 (!), and considering the long shelf life of many of these products, it's only going to get worse.
I checked the contents of my pantry and found three items that had been recalled. But just today, a grocery chain in my area where I shop often issued several more recalls. So now I need to check again.
Here is a link the FDA's web site with more information and a searchable database of recalled products.
The search process is very, very easy. I urge you to check your pantries now to identify, discard, or return any recalled products. Don't feed them to the birds or to any pets. Set aside any peanut-containing products that are not on the recall list, and check them against the recall list over the next several weeks. Most jarred peanut butters are OK.
The American Peanut Council maintains a list of products not affected by the recall, which are safe to consume:
Here's a shorter link to the same site: http://tinyurl.com/bmnov9
You can also sign up for updates via email, RSS, twitter, and other means; check the FDA website for more information.
I hope this has been helpful.