Recall adds raw peanuts, trail mix

A Southern Oregon grocery chain has recalled bulk peanuts and trail mixes that could be contaminated with salmonella, adding to the growing list of peanut products pulled from shelves nationwide.

C&K Market Inc., the Brookings-based parent company of Ray's Food Place, Shop Smart and Price Less Foods, announced this week that it was voluntarily removing five Aunt Patty's bulk peanut offerings and two trail mixes from stores. The provider of those products, GloryBee Foods Inc., of Eugene, had recalled them earlier this month when it learned they contained peanuts from Peanut Corporation of America's plant in Georgia that federal inspectors determined was the source of a salmonella outbreak that sickened people around the country.

C&K Market's news release named a string of locations that might have received the products since January 2007, but the Eagle Point Ray's Food Place was the only Jackson County store listed.

Store manager Adam Balero said the Eagle Point Ray's had eliminated all GloryBee bulk items late last year.

At the Phoenix Ray's, store manager Dack Doggett said his market hadn't stocked items from that particular supplier. He said, however, that he was grateful for the steady stream of information he has received from corporate headquarters.

"We just go down and make sure we don't have whatever is in the latest bulletin," Doggett said.

The early weeks of the recall in January focused on products made with peanut butter, and Ray's employees removed and destroyed plenty of cookies and crackers , dumping them in a trash compactor with the rest of the store's garbage. The store carried fewer of the products named in more recent recalls.

In all, more than 2,200 products have been recalled nationwide, with about 1,843 of them suspected to have been distributed in the Pacific Northwest, said Vance Bybee, the Oregon Department of Agriculture's administrator of food safety.

His team of inspectors — including three who work in Jackson and Josephine counties — have visited roughly 850 food stores around the state. That's roughly 27 percent of the stores the department has regulatory authority over.

The department also has made four separate "robo-calls," in which an automated system contacts 14,000 stores, distributors and public health offices to keep them up-to-date on the recall.

"Our staff can't be everywhere every day, so we are being creative," Bybee said.

Statewide, inspectors have found nearly a quarter of the stores they visit still have recalled products available to customers, in part because many small stores struggle to keep track of the massive and growing list of possibly contaminated products.

"We have a file 21/2 inches thick," said Bob Casad, assistant manager in the natural foods department of Food for Less.

He said Food for Less didn't carry the GloryBee peanuts or the affected Aunt Patty's trail mixes — Cascade and Mount Hood — but the store is carefully tracking each recall bulletin. It immediately pulls and destroys items on the list and reports back to wholesalers.

Wholesaler and distributors give stores credit for the destroyed product, he said.

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 776-4485, or e-mail

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