Friday, February 6, 2009

FEMA Recalls Storm Meal Kit Peanut Butter

A U.S. agency says some emergency meal kits given to Kentucky and Arkansas storm victims may contain recalled peanut butter contaminated with salmonella.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said kits manufactured by Red Cloud Food Services Inc. of South Elgin, Ill., under the Standing Rock label, "may contain peanut butter which is part of the precautionary national recall under way in accordance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."
The distributed meal kits, which include several main courses, include clear, 1-ounce packets of peanut butter, the agency said.
"People who have received commercial meal kits are asked to inspect the kits in their possession and immediately dispose of any peanut butter packets," FEMA said.
The meals were sent as part of U.S. President Barack Obama's federal disaster relief for Kentucky and Arkansas following a devastating ice storm last week.
A Red Cloud memo posted on the FEMA Web site says the prepared-foods manufacturer recalled the meals with the suspect peanut butter Jan. 19.
When asked why the agency appeared to have distributed the peanut butter two weeks after the recall, a FEMA spokeswoman said the recalled peanut butter was not included in the earlier alert, which she dated as Jan. 20.
When the alert was expanded Wednesday "to include a company that was previously cleared, we took immediate steps to cease distribution to any states or our distribution centers where there may be additional products," Ashley Small said in an e-mail.
The Red Cloud memo said that even though "not all meal kits" contained peanut butter, it was recalling all kits produced Sept. 22-25.
More than 1,000 items have been recalled in the salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 550 people, eight of whom have died. A Peanut Corporation of America plant in Blakely, Ga., is being blamed for the contamination.
For more information, contact Caruso Law Office at 505-883-5000.