Food search shelves for tainted peanut products - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Food search shelves for tainted peanut products

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - Granola bars, cereals, cookies, nut mixes and peanut butter have long been a mainstay of food pantries because of their durability and long shelf life. Now, the food banks are throwing out thousands of pounds of food containing peanuts recalled in the salmonella outbreak.

Workers like Candie Edmonds, Kitchen Manager for the Cedar Rapids Salvation Army, are spending hours searching their stockpiles for the tainted items instead of serving those in need.

"We've had trail mix, granola bars, as well as some cereal and some cookies, and peanut butter-filled crackers," said Edmonds, remembering the foods she's thrown out.

As the list of tainted peanut products grows, she's spent much of her time making sure none of them make it into the hands of people in need.

"We've spent anywhere between 50 and 60 volunteer hours as well as staff hours in order to get all those products out."

She's had to go through three to five palettes filled with boxes of assorted goods, many of them twice.

"It's gotten to be quite the headache."

Checking over a palette stacked with one kind of food is easy enough. It's what they get from their food drive that isn't.

"Everything's all mixed in as it comes to us, so we have to go through all of those boxes."

That's every single box, one-by-one. A time-consuming process. Edmonds doesn't have an exact count, but she's estimating as a result of these peanut recalls, she and her volunteers have had to throw away anywhere from 50 to 60 small cases of peanut-based products. That's between $200 and $300 of food not getting to its intended recipients.

She still has plenty of actual peanut butter that's safe for eating, but as for what they've thrown away, "it's just something that's missing out of the food boxes, unfortunately."

Edmonds says in the meantime, The Salvation Army is trusting their main food supplier, HACAP Food Reservoir of Hiawatha, to keep them updated on further recalls.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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