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Peter Pan Peanut Butter

A salmonella outbreak in 2007 resulted in a 100-percent recall of Peter Pan peanut butter.­

AP Photo/Dr. Scott M. Lieberman

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In early 2007, consumers heard that they shou­ld stop buying and eating the popular Peter Pan brand of peanut butter. Apparently, an outbreak of salmonella had been linked to the product. When it discovered the link, the company that made this peanut butter, ConAgra, engaged in a rare and massive 100-percent recall of the product. And later that year, the company recalled frozen pot pies that were also found to be linked to the outbreak.

After everything was said and done, the outbreak caused more than 600 cases of salmonella but luckily, no deaths. ConAgra spent around $78 million on the recalls [source: Nash]. These funds went into not only finding and getting rid of the products, but also notifying customers and implementing a toll-free hotline for consumers to contact. On top of shelling out this money, the company missed out on approximately $55 million worth of lost sales [source: Hughlett].

Investigations into the cause of the outbreak revealed that moisture (from broken sprinklers and rain leaking through the roof) was the culprit that fostered an environment hospitable to the bacteria. ConAgra then poured another $15 to $20 million into renovating the responsible plant [source: Nash].

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