Approximately 575 illnesses in 43 states have been linked to peanut products from the Peanut Corporation of America’s (PCA) plant in Blakely, Ga. For the dairy industry, ice cream and frozen dairy desserts containing peanuts, peanut butter, peanut paste, peanut granules and peanut meal from this plant were the primary products recalled.
IDFA staff continues to work closely with a number of ice cream companies to help with their recall efforts. These efforts consume tremendous amounts of plant employee staff time for reviewing records, identifying affected products, drafting recall notices, issuing public statements for the news media and consumers, contacting customers and ensuring that products containing the suspect peanut products are removed from the marketplace, said Allen Sayler, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards.
"Once the recall has been initiated, it is important that the ongoing recall efforts include an effectiveness check and periodic submission of a Recall Status Report to the Food and Drug Administration," Sayler said. "After expending so much effort to implement a product recall, these two items can easily be overlooked. But it is a certainty that FDA will visit all ice cream plants that have recalled the suspect peanut-containing products to look for this information."
To conduct an effectiveness check, each affected ice cream plant must determine the percentage of customers who received suspect product and were contacted. While 100 percent is ideal, the actual number usually falls in the range of 10 percent to 100 percent, Sayler said.
The Recall Status Report must be provided regularly, usually monthly, to the FDA District Recall Officer. This report details how many customers were notified, how many notified customers responded and how many did not, the method of notification, the quantity of the suspect products that the customers possessed when notified, how many suspect products were returned, the results of the effectiveness checks and an estimated date for completing recall activities.
Sayler encourages dairy companies involved in this peanut product recall to work closely with their insurance companies and legal counsel regarding the release of any documents or information that could later be used for regulatory or legal actions.
Members seeking more information may contact Sayler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-220-3544, or Clay Detlefsen, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and counsel, at email@example.com or 202-220-3554.