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Peanut butter recall shakes consumer confidence

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With this week’s national peanut butter recall by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fresh on everyone’s mind, many consumers are losing confidence in brands they’ve been using regularly.

The recall includes ConAgra’s Peter Pan and Great Value (private label for Wal-Mart stores) brands sold after May 2006 or containing the code 2111 on the lid. Many schools, parents, food banks and others for whom peanut butter is a dietary staple are wondering how the salmonella contamination wasn’t discovered sooner.

The recall was prompted by a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, showed that nearly 300 people in 39 U.S. states became ill after consuming these peanut butters that all came from the same manufacturing plant in Sylvester, Georgia.

An Associated Press story out of Atlanta details the defective product investigation:

FDA inspectors visited the now shut-down plant Wednesday and Thursday to try to pinpoint where the contamination could have happened. The FDA last inspected the plant in 2005. Testing was also being done on at least some the salmonella victims’ peanut butter jars, but investigators said some may have already been discarded.