February 4, 2009

Fred Meyer joins recall of peanut products

The Columbian
 

Fred Meyer stores posted more recalls to its Web site on Wednesday for grocery items made with peanut products as part of a national recall related to the Peanut Corporation of America.

The products, which include Kashi-brand granola bars and cookies and Special K bars, may be linked to a salmonella outbreak that has sickened 500 people in 43 states and killed eight people. The Food and Drug Administration has accused PCA of knowingly selling peanut butter and peanut paste contaminated with salmonella.

The peanut butter and peanut paste were used to make food products nationwide, including items sold by Fred Meyer’s parent company Kroger, which operates stores under various names in 31 states.

Fred Meyer most recently listed the following recall of Kashi-brand items: TLC Chewy Granola Bars Honey Almond Flax, 7.4 oz; TLC Chewy Granola Bars Trail Mix, 7.4 oz; TLC Oatmeal Raisin Flax Chewy Cookies, 8.5 oz.; TLC Happy Trail Mix Chewy Cookies, 8.5 oz.; TLC Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chewy Cookies, 8.5 oz. and 2-pack 17 oz.; and TLC Chewy Granola Bars Peanut Butter, 7.4 Oz.

The company also recalled the Special K-brand Protein Honey Almond Meal Bar.

“Every store in the nation has had to recall those items,” said Melinda Merrill, a spokeswoman for Portland-based Fred Meyer, which operates more than 128 stores throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.

On Saturday, Kroger posted recalls of its own store-branded baked goods, including all store-baked peanut butter cookies, all decorated, iced, gourmet, mini and sandwich cookies and all assorted and variety bakery cookies; all Private Selection-brand Peanut Chocolate Chunk Cookies and Private Selection-brand Gourmet Variety Cookie Trays. Kroger also recalled all sizes of Private Selection Cakes, including whole, half and packaged slices and all trio single-layer and double-layer iced cakes.

Merrill said Fred Meyer officials are in constant contact with the FDA in terms of making sure that all national brand items associated with the tainted peanut products are pulled immediately from shelves.

For the most complete list of recalled products, Merrill advised consumers to visit the FDA Web site at www.fda.gov.

“I’m not sure that our Web site has kept up with it. The FDA Web site is better,” she said, adding that consumers should not eat any item they are not sure about.

“If they have anything in the cabinet that they are unsure of, they should bring it in or get rid of it,” Merrill said. “Err on the side of caution. If you don’t see it on the FDA list but you’re not comfortable with it, bring it back.”

Spokane County has four Fred Meyer stores: on East Francis Avenue, North Division Street, South Thor Street and East Sprague Avenue in Spokane Valley. There is one store in Kootenai County, on West Kathleen.

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