The recent salmonella outbreak across the country was due to tainted peanuts and peanut products – bad news for North Carolina peanut farmers. Although the normal annual demand for peanuts is 100 tons in the United States, peanut farmers are seeing a stalling market due to the fear and anxiety attached to the rash of food poisonings in the last month.
In 43 states, 486 people were struck down by the bacteria-laden peanut products. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also reports 107 hospitalizations as well as eight deaths – with numbers expected to rise as more victims come forward. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled a number of peanut products, but although many store brands have been declared safe, many are still wary of peanut products. Those affected for the most part ate peanut butter prepared in institutional settings – schools, hospitals, and nursing homes. Food banks especially have been harmed by the crisis, with many organizations throwing out thousands of pounds of food products out so as to prevent any further illness or death and so as to avoid any consequential litigation involving negligence and food poisoning.
The President of the North Carolina Peanut Growers’ Association told the media that contracts were only trickling in for the coming year – a bad sign for farmers. The situation is complicated by the troubled peanut market – although sales were up by 40 percent last year, farming costs are rising for the crop while prices are dropping.
“I think people will become more comfortable (with peanut purchases) as time goes on, but with every farming enterprise, you can’t just sit around and wait,” he said. “We’ve got economic enterprises that must move on from year to year.”
The peanut outbreak was traced to a peanut processing plant in Georgia. Since the beginning of the outbreak, 2,100 peanut products have been recalled by over 200 different companies.
If you have suffered a serious injury from food poisoning, it is vital for you to contact a specialized attorney for more information about your case.
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