How to Make Sure Your Peanut Butter Is Safe

peanut butter recall© iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Before you make your kids a PB&J for lunch tomorrow, check your pantry. Unilever, one of the world’s largest food conglomerates, has just announced a recall involving two varieties of its Skippy peanut butter because of fears of salmonella contamination. The possibly tainted products include jars of Skippy Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread and Reduced Fat Super Chunk Peanut Butter Spread that were sold in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. To ensure your safety as well as your children’s, follow these tips:

Look at the lid. If yours is stamped with either the UPC code 048001006812 or 048001006782, or with the best-if-used-by date MAY1612LR1, MAY1712LR1, MAY1812LR1, MAY1912LR1, MAY2012LR or MAY2112LR1, toss the jar. It may be contaminated.

Stay informed. For more information and the latest news on the outbreak, call the consumer hotline at 800-453-3432. Or log onto the FDA website.

But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Peanut butter is one of the healthiest foods around. It contains monounsaturated fat that can actually reduce your risk of heart disease—up to 21%, according to one study. Plus, it’s a great source of protein, fiber, and anti-oxidants. Keep abreast of the latest health scares, but don’t avoid peanut butter altogether if you enjoy it. And know that not all peanut butters are created equal. Here’s how to find the healthiest, best-tasting ones out there.

1) Skip the low-fat types. Yes, they have marginally less fat, but they also contain up to double the sugar, along with fillers and other empty carbs, while boasting none of the good fat found in the regular varieties.

2) Read the label. Avoid brands that list trans fats, sugar, and preservatives among the ingredients. The healthiest offerings—all-natural and/or organic ones—contain peanuts, sometimes salt, and not much else.

3) Try them out. There are plenty of delicious all-natural brands out there, and you may like one better than another. See which ones won Real Simple magazine’s taste test.

4) DIY. If you really want to know what goes into your peanut butter, make it yourself. Many health food and grocery stores let you grind your own.

Plus: 5 Peanut Butter Alternatives

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

2 thoughts on “How to Make Sure Your Peanut Butter Is Safe

  1. As a kid in the late 60’s I would go to the old grocery store and we would get peanut butter made by a machine in the store. They had also roasted the peanuts in the store which you could also buy. When you got home, you mixed it up a bit and put it in the fridge so it wouldn’t separate. Today, I look for the variety that has 1″ oil at the top. Ingredients: peanuts. If it says: high fructose corn syrup, dextros hydrogenated oils, salt, etc. Toss it the Jiff, Peter Pan,etc and get my brand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Fields marked with an * are required
Foods That Harm Foods That HealWant a Free eBook?
FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL offers important information about the role diet plays in the struggle against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses. Answer the question below to receive your FREE digital eBook.

Someone in my household experiences the following conditions:

Send me a link to download FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL:
By clicking below, I agree to the Trusted Media Brands Privacy Policy