Lance says peanut butter crackers safe to eat

by Eric Schroeder
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In response to a growing number of consumer inquiries and in light of the recent announcement from The Kellogg Co. that it had put a hold on several of its products, Charlotte-based Lance, Inc. on Thursday said its sandwich crackers containing peanut butter have been given "a clean bill of health."

"No Lance sandwich crackers containing peanut butter are affected by this week's recent peanut butter recall," the company said Jan. 15. "In fact, all Lance, Inc. information and recent testing reinforce that there is no concern with the quality or safety of peanut butter used in Lance sandwich crackers."

Lance said officials with the Food Safety Division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture visited its Charlotte bakery on Jan. 14. After reviewing the Lance food safety programs and records specific to peanut butter, Lance was given a clean bill of health.

Lance manufactures 100% of the peanut butter used in its sandwich crackers and does not receive peanut butter from the supplier involved in the recall.

Lance’s announcement followed by a day a statement from Kellogg in which the Battle Creek, Mich.-based company said it has taken the precautionary measure of putting a hold on several varieties of peanut butter crackers sold under the Austin and Keebler brands. Although it has not found any problems or received complaints about the products, Kellogg said the move was made because it receives its peanut paste from the Peanut Corporation of America, which late Tuesday issued a recall of peanut butter produced in its Blakely, Ga., processing facility due to Salmonella concerns.

As part of its action, Kellogg has put a hold on any inventory in its control, removed product from retail store shelves, and encouraged customers and consumers to hold and not eat the peanut butter cracker products until regulatory officials complete their investigation of P.C.A. and Kellogg provides further information.

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