March 1, 2007: FDA Update Highlights Contaminated ConAgra Plant, and Recalled Dessert Toppings and Ice Cream

The FDA reported that an inspection of ConAgra’s Sylvester, Georgia, processing plant has revealed the presence of Salmonella. Finding Salmonella in the processing plant environment suggests that contamination took place before the peanut butter reached consumers.

Several state labs have identified Salmonella in open jars of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter that had been purchased by consumers. The Salmonella found at the ConAgra processing plant and in the open jars matched the Salmonella outbreak strain that had been isolated from consumers who became ill.

The FDA also reported that Peter Pan peanut butter in bulk form was sent from the contaminated ConAgra plant to a plant in Humboldt, TN, for use in the making of dessert toppings and ice creams sold under the Sonic and Carvel brand names.

These products include:

  • Sonic Brand Ready-To-Use Peanut Butter Topping (6 lb. 10.5 oz cans).
  • This Sonic topping was used in the following Sonic products: Peanut Butter Shake, Peanut Butter Fudge Shake, Peanut Butter Sundae, Peanut Butter Fudge Sundae.
  • Carvel Peanut Butter Topping (6 lb. 10 oz. cans).
  • This Carvel topping was used in the following ice cream products: Chocolate Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter Treasure, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Sundae Dasher, and any other custom-made products using Peanut Butter Topping, including ice cream cakes containing peanut-butter-flavored ice cream.
  • J. Hungerford Smith Peanut Butter Dessert Topping (6 lb. 10 oz. cans; this topping is used by retail outlets and restaurants but is not directly available to the public).

Both Sonic and Carvel recalled these products as of February 16, 2007.

Symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning include diarrhea (sometimes bloody), abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, and joint pain.

Anyone who has eaten any of the dessert toppings or ice cream products listed above and has experienced any of these symptoms should contact a healthcare professional immediately. In addition, the FDA recommends informing local and state health officials. The container with the remnants of the suspect product should be sealed, labeled “Do Not Eat,” and stored in the refrigerator in case it is needed for testing.

For more information about Salmonella foodborne illness, visit the pages of this blog or the website

Personal Injury Lawsuit Information

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