Recalled peanuts found in BrandonA report this week from Minnesota Public Radio indicated that 2.5 tons of recalled peanuts – not peanut butter – were found in 16 school districts around the state.
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
A report this week from Minnesota Public Radio indicated that 2.5 tons of recalled peanuts – not peanut butter – were found in 16 school districts around the state.
One of them was Brandon School District, which had 18 10-pound cans of peanuts in its possession.
The peanuts, which were provided to the school district through the state commodity program, had been there for awhile, but were not being served to students, according to Brandon Superintendent Mark Westby.
Since the recall of salmonella-tainted King Nut brand peanut butter and peanut-related products, the school district receives updates as to what state-commodity products might be affected and which ones the school district can no longer use, he added.
Westby said when the school district received the list identifying the peanuts, they were immediately pulled and no longer used. However, they were not destroyed and were still sitting on the shelf.
Last week, he said, the 16 cans were destroyed and are no longer in the school district’s possession.
On Wednesday, Senator Amy Klobuchar sent out a statement regarding the recalled peanuts found in Minnesota schools.
“I am deeply troubled by the news that schools across Minnesota have found more than 2.5 tons of recalled peanuts in their kitchens,” said Klobuchar. “When we send our kids to school, we expect them to be safe. No parent should have to fear for their child’s safety because of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Considering the vulnerable population served by National School Lunch Program, there is no room for error when it comes to making sure that foods in school are absolutely safe.”
Klobuchar, who is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said she will seek answers from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack about the National School Lunch Program’s procurement practices and safeguards.
Westby stressed that when his district is notified of recalled products, they are immediately pulled from the shelves and no longer used.
He said the school district has to provide paperwork to the state that the products being recalled are taken care of properly and that the school district has done that.
At the end of January, School District 206 in Alexandria voluntarily removed all peanut butter products from its breakfast, lunch and snack menus due to the national salmonella outbreak from contaminated peanut butter.