How Does Salmonella Get Into Your Peanut Butter?

Are you nonplussed by the latest peanut butter scare? Here’s what you need to know about salmonella and peanut butter–and why, even if you throw your Skippy jars away, you should be concerned about why this contamination even happened at all.

Has this happened before?

Yes. There have been four peanut butter salmonella scares in the past 15 years, according to a 2009 article in Scientific American that examined another outbreak in 2008-2009.

How does poop get into peanut butter?

According to Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia in Griffin, “Feces from some animal is a strong possibility. A leak in the roof, for example, caused one of the early outbreaks. How salmonella got into the water that was on the roof, no one knows for sure. Maybe birds, for instance, which accumulate around peanut butter processing plants.”

Doesn’t roasting kill salmonella?

Yes. “The roasting of peanuts is the only step that will kill the salmonella,” Doyle says in the magazine’s report. However, “If contamination occurs after the roasting process, the game is over and salmonella is going to survive.”

How can this be avoided?

“The key,” says Doyle, “is to have a rigid system in place that does not allow contamination by water or other vectors after the roasting process. Water in a peanut butter processing plant is like putting gasoline on a fire. It will not only spread the salmonella, but the salmonella will grow when water is present.”

What can you do?

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

Source: Scientificamerican.com, Slate.com

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads 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.

Funny Jokes

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

Funny Jokes

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

Funny Jokes

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

@kristencarney

Funny Jokes

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.

@sixthformpoet

Funny Jokes

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

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

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

@NicCageMatch

Funny Jokes

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

@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