Recall of Salmonella-Tainted Peanut Products May Be Largest Ever

The recall of peanut products because of possible salmonella contamination has mushroomed into one of the largest.

Depending on how recalls are measured, few others come close. If counted by the number of products, more than 1,313 have been recalled as of Thursday. The closest is the 1,177 pet food products recalled in 2007 after melamine was discovered in some ingredients.

List of Recalled Products

If measured in pounds, the February 2008 recall of beef from a California packaging plant would top the list, with 143 million pounds affected.

The current salmonella outbreak has been blamed for eight deaths and 575 illnesses. A June 2008 salmonella contamination of tomatoes and jalapeno peppers made more people ill — more than 1,200.


Breakdown of recent national food contaminations that triggered recalls and warnings to consumers:

— January 2009: Peanuts, peanut paste, peanut butter; 1,313 products recalled; salmonella contamination; produced by Peanut Corp. of America in Georgia; more than 575 illnesses and eight deaths reported.

— June 2008: Tomatoes and raw jalapeno peppers; more than $100 million in crops affected; salmonella contamination; grown in Mexico; more than 1,200 illnesses reported and no deaths.

— February 2008: beef; more than 143 million pounds affected; unfit, weak and sick cattle slaughtered for human consumption; packed by Westland Meat Co. in California; no illnesses or deaths reported.

— March 2007: Pet food; 1,177 products recalled; melamine contamination; produced from vegetable proteins imported from China. no human illnesses or deaths reported, but more than 14,000 pet illnesses and 16 deaths.

— September 2006: Spinach; more than $86 million in crops affected; E. coli contamination; grown in California; more than 200 illnesses and three deaths reported.