March 9, 2009
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) today issued guidance to the food industry advising manufacturers that peanuts and peanut-derived products used as food ingredients pose a risk of Salmonella contamination, and recommending measures that manufacturers can take to address that risk for peanut derived products received from their ingredient suppliers and for the products they themselves produce. CFSAN also issued today a companion bulletin to operators of food-service establishments and retail food stores that offer food products containing peanuts and peanut-derived ingredients.
The guidance recommends that manufacturers obtain their peanut-derived ingredients only from suppliers who use production processes that have been demonstrated to adequately reduce the presence of Salmonella, or that they ensure that their own manufacturing process would adequately reduce the presence of Salmonella. The guidance provides information that manufacturers should consider in evaluating their processes.
The bulletin asks retail and food service operations to work with their suppliers to ensure that all peanut-derived products used as ingredients or sold as food have been manufactured and packed in accordance with current good manufacturing practice requirements. Retail and food service operations should take steps to ensure that their suppliers use production processes that have been demonstrated to adequately reduce the presence of Salmonella and should work with their suppliers to ensure that all peanut-derived products used as ingredients or sold as food are not subject to an on-going product recall.
The guidance and bulletin are being issued in the midst of a large, ongoing, multi-state outbreak of consumer illness associated with consumption of food products containing peanut-derived ingredients produced by a single peanut processor. FDA will accept public comments on the guidance. Both the guidance and bulletin were posted today on FDA's website (Peanut-Derived Product Guidance) and are scheduled to be published soon in the Federal Register.
FDA is aware that the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), collaborating with other food industry organizations in a Salmonella Control Task Force, has recently published an industry guidance document concerning programs to control Salmonella and help ensure the safety of low-moisture food products. Manufacturers that use a peanut-derived product as an ingredient in a food product may find GMA's document useful. FDA is not responsible for the content of GMA's document.