Peanut recalls keep stores hopping

February 17, 2009 3:19:53 PM PST
If you think the peanut recall is old news, think again. Just last night more items were added to the list and grocers are scrambling to make sure the recalled products don't end up in your pantry. Nearly 2,000 products linked to the peanut plant in Georgia have been recalled and more could be on the way. It's making for some challenging times for grocery stores.

Empty store shelves are becoming a familiar sight on aisles that have products made with peanuts. The ever expanding recall keeps gobbling up items and shaking consumer confidence in all peanut products.

"I don't eat peanuts and I don't eat peanut butter," said shopper Nancy Ford. "I won't until we know that it is really safe."

At H.E.B., fresh peanuts that can be bought in bulk were removed from store shelves overnight.

Christina Williams with H.E.B. explained, "These are our trail mixes which have multiple things in them, but a lot of them have peanuts in them ... so we immediately pulled them off the shelves."

Williams now has to clean and sanitize all the tubes that once held trail mixes and peanuts. Lately the grocery chain has spent a lot of time dealing with the peanut recall from the Peanut Corporation of America plant.

Cyndy Garza-Roberts with H.E.B. Public Affairs said, "You come in and our shelves will be empty because of those recalls, so any product that carries an ingredient from Peanut Corporation of America, those are the items that will be pulled immediately."

If a recall is issued while shoppers are in the grocery store, there is little chance they will leave with the item, even if it's already in their cart.

"If there is some chance that a recalled product is still on the shelf and the customer came in and the customer put the product in the basket, and the recall came down, the product will not ring at the cash register," Garza explained.

The register locks have already stopped customers from buying recalled items. While the recall list keeps growing, peanuts are still being sold, just not any items from that peanut plant in Georgia.

Garza added, "I cannot stress enough that it is the ingredient that comes from that one supplier and it is the Peanut Corporation of America."

If you have one of those customer reward cards with Kroger or Sam's Club, you may even get a call from those stores letting you know that you bought a recalled product. That's just another way grocery stores are trying to keep customers from eating these items.

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