by Marion Nestle
Feb 18 2009

Peanut butter recalls: the Harvard Survey

Some group at Harvard does telephone surveys of consumer attitudes and did one about the recallsNews accounts say that nearly all of the more than 1,000 respondents had heard about the recalls, but about a quarter of them erroneously thought that national brands of peanut butter in jars had been recalled.  Companies that put peanut butter in jars must do their own roasting, which is why they are announcing their safety in ads and on websites.   Consumers, the survey found, were not aware of the range of products affected.  How could they be?  I get announcements of newly recalled products every day and the total now exceeds 2,000. The take-home lesson?  Until we have a decent food safety system in place, avoid mass-produced foods with multiple ingredients (especially if you don’t know what they are or where they came from), buy local, and consider cooking – it solves a lot of safety problems.  Other ideas?