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Peanut Butter Recall After Salmonella Essay

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Updated: May 6th, 2022


The continuing peanut recall after the salmonella outbreak now formally comprises uncooked and roasted peanuts. In 19 states, 35 individuals confirmed falling sick with salmonella poisoning associated with peanut products and the number of those generally ill with salmonella stands at 500. All sicknesses have however been traced to constituents produced in the same plant (Gewertz, 2009, pp. 4-5). This paper discusses the effect and implication of the salmonella outbreak to companies, the government, the media, the healthcare system, and individuals.

Brief summary

Issue they represent

The salmonella outbreak has hit schools through harmful peanut butter as well as jelly sandwiches of the Smucker Company. A recall of “crustless peanut butter in addition to peanut products has compelled a number of the largest grocery food shops in the US to draw store-brand merchandise off their stores” (Cook, 2009, p. 6). The peanut butter has currently been recalled because of salmonella contamination as reported by the Food Poisoning Bulletin. Peanut butter from Sunland Inc. helps in the preparation of the harmful sandwiches from Smucker. As per the food poisoning prevention position, Sunland Inc. has had above 240 recalled products so far. However, even though there has been recalls of late, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) still offers sandwiches.

This recall now extends to comprise every roasted and uncooked peanut supplied by Sunland. The company (Sunland Inc.) publicized voluntary inclusion of the recall to roasted and uncooked peanuts because of likely health risks. From the time the recall was publicized, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has closed a number of brands to evade an outbreak because of likely salmonella contamination. The named brands include “Starbucks and America’s Choice amid other brands recorded on recall chart by the Food and Drug Administration, but approximately the entire peanuts involved in the recall came from a processing branch of the Sunland Company located in Portales” (Cook, 2009, p. 7). Peanuts supplied by Trader Joe alone affected about 35 individuals from 19 states. The affected persons linked their illness to the peanut products. Nearly two-thirds of the infected people were below 10 years of age. Luckily, none of the affected died.

Relation to health care

The salmonella effect of peanuts brought fever, diarrhea, as well as abdominal cramps from 12 to 72 hours following infection of an individual. The salmonella effect is most hazardous to kids, the aged, and people whose immune system is weak. So far, there are no accounts of other foods causing the illnesses (Roth, 2009, p. 20). Nevertheless, Sunland Company recalled other merchandise produced on the same ingredients with the intention of preventing any likely health effects.

Representation by the media

The Food Poisoning Bulletin (FPB) made reports that the recalled peanut butter had made its entry into schools through uncrystallized peanut butter and peanut products from Smucker. In addition, the FPB reported that the Smucker Company began an intended recall on its merchandise, thus prompting the United States Department of Agriculture that governs the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to intervene. In this regard, a food security hold was brought forth (Cook, 2009, p. 8).

Public opinion

A press release from the Shearer after the recall stated that nothing is more significant to the Sunland Company than the health and wellbeing of its clients. The announcement went ahead to discourage consumers from eating brands listed as unsafe and to take back or disposing of the likely contaminated merchandise (Gewertz, 2009, p. 5). With the notion that the products would give rise to the salmonella effect, there was a sharp decline in the consumption of peanut butter and peanut products thus showing that the public views peanut products as harmful. The Smucker Company declared that the recalled products found their way to consumers via conduits of foodservice trade.

Literature Review

With the continuous flow of headlines concerning one of the major food contamination alerts in the history of the US, companies whose merchandise has not been recalled have a hard moment winning over the confidence of their customers in peanut products. This negative effect on the financial status of companies dealing with peanut butter is likely to cause a decline in the economy of the US (Roth, 2009, p. 21). Additionally, this problem holds a great implication for the nursing profession as the greater the effect, the higher the workload on nurses who have to take care of the affected individuals. From historical records, the salmonella eruption has been associated with 575 reported infections, 8 deaths, and over 1,500 products that have been recalled comprising ice cream, peanut butter, cookies, and pet foodstuff (Baumler & Hargis, 2000, p.51).

Idaho, California, and Minnesota are examples of three states where the eradication of peanut products from the school lunch program was ordered. In these states, the supplied peanut products originated from the peanut butter from the federal government or roasted peanuts from the federal government (Roth, 2009, p. 22). The federal government bought its products from the Peanut Corporation. Nevertheless, there is no effect accounted from students consuming infected peanut butter offered by the government. At the time when the peanut corporation started recalling peanut products, federal representatives alleged that there was no effect on the school lunch program. Nevertheless, the recall has enlarged since then to include a longer phase and additional products comprising the school lunch consignments.

The United States Department of Agriculture, which manages school lunch programs, disallowed the Peanut Corporation from carrying out any additional dealings with the government. The CEO of the Peanut Standards Board, Steward Parnell, was sacked. The role of the Peanut Standards Board (PSB) of the Agriculture Department is to inform the secretary of agriculture concerning quality and management values. The Peanut Company is facing criminal investigation following its responsibility and has charges from federal regulators of deliberately distributing products, which had positive assessments for salmonella. The salmonella epidemic has as well ignited discussions concerning improvements of the food safety system in the US (Gewertz, 2009, p. 6). Tom Vilsack, the agriculture secretary, stated that there should be just one food safety system instead of the present sharing of food safety accountability between the FDA, which controls seafood and most other foodstuff, and the Department of Agriculture, which controls the consumption of meat. On top of the number of sicknesses and recalled merchandise, the salmonella eruption has generated uproar due to the significance given to peanut butter by Americans as part of their diet. Typically, every American consumes a large quantity of peanut butter each year. Many companies such as ConAgra and Smucker are encouraging customers to purchase their peanut products. For instance, Smucker Company is making around 400 calls each day to encourage its worried clients.

The vice president of Levick Strategic Communications, Gene Grabowski, affirmed that it was against ethics for companies to set advertisements for their peanut products. He characteristically affirmed that such advertisements might propagate the outbreak and unconsciously connect the companies’ merchandise to the outbreak. He said that such a marketing approach should be restrained until when necessary (Gewertz, 2009, p. 7-9). Referring to the 2007 incident when a number of companies made similar advertisements after melamine traces were discovered in pet foodstuff, Gene stated that the incidence underscores the way business transactions have been impaired. The salmonella outbreak necessitates recalls of peanut products and more so in the school lunch program as a way to curb the effect. The sacking of the CEO of the Peanut Standards Board was in order as it demonstrated some irresponsibility on his part. However, he should not have carried the entire burden alone; in the interest of fairness, all the involved people need to face similar charges.

Comparison of analysis

In the media reports, according to the FPB reports, the entry of peanut products in schools could bring hazardous if not fatal health effects to students. Additionally, the FPB reports that the Smucker Company began a recall on their merchandise thus prompting the United States Department of Agriculture to intervene to stop continued salmonella effects as this department administers the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The department is thus in a position to bar entry of peanut products into schools. On the other hand, the salmonella outbreak holds a great repercussion for the nursing career as the greater the effect, the higher the backlog on nurses that have to take care of the ill since the move of affected individuals to health institutions takes them to the attentive care of nurses (Gewertz, 2009, p. 4).


The analysis of the concern in the media reports and the analysis of the concern in the nursing profession hold some similarities. A recall of the merchandise as reported by the Smucker Company will go a long way to curb the effect on students thus lessening the workload on the nurses. Similarly, a reported food safety hold will as well reduce the salmonella effect and ease the work of nurses.


The analysis of the concern in the media reports and the analysis of the concern in the nursing profession hold some differences. The involvement of both media reporters and nurses in salmonella outbreak vary. The nurses have direct involvement in giving medical attention to the ill, and the outbreak affects them directly. On the other hand, the media reports have an indirect involvement in reporting the extent of the problem and in that way urge the government and other stakeholders who will intervene and bring a solution. The outbreak affects the media reporters indirectly.


Based on the findings, there are implications for nurses to give attentive care to those affected and ensure that they are in safe hands. The implication on the nursing students is in opening their eyes to understand their profession better and grasp what awaits them. Both the health care policy and the health care delivery system should guarantee excellent care of the ill by overseeing the success of the care given to the sick.


This paper shows the effects of the salmonella outbreak on students, companies, and the population. Due to the outbreak, people will be forced to do away with peanut products and thus inconvenience their dietary preferences. The companies will face a hard trying to woo customers and this may lead to a decrease in their profits. Finally, the health care system and the government have a great role to play in addressing the issue and other related concerns.

Reference List

Baumler, A. J., & Hargis, B. M. (2000). Tracing the Origins of Salmonella Outbreaks. Science, 287(5450), 50-52.

Cook, G. (2009). Peanut recall causes concern for schools. American School Board Journal, 196(4), 6-8.

Gewertz, C. (2009). U.S. Says Schools Got Tainted Peanut Foods. Education Week, 28(21), 4-9.

Roth, P. (2009). From Peanuts to Pet Food: Coverage Available for Rising Recall Exposures. National Underwriter / P&C, 113(37), 20-22.

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