Archdiocesan relief agency responds to peanut butter recall – Catholic Philly

0

(Steve Buissinne/Pixabay)

The recall of a major brand of peanut butter is a teaching moment about safe food donation, leaders of an archdiocesan hunger relief agency have said.

Nutrition Development Services (NDS) staff inspected inventory of jars of Jif Peanut Butter, several batches of which have been linked to salmonella outbreaks in a number of states.

On May 20, manufacturer JD Smucker issued a voluntary recall of certain Jif products manufactured at its Lexington, Kentucky facility with lot codes 1274425 – 2140425.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control, as well as state and local authorities, are investigating the onset of the disease, which can “cause serious and sometimes fatal infections” in young children, the elderly and people with compromised immunity, according to the reminder announcement.

The FDA has warned consumers not to eat the recalled product and to wash and sanitize any utensils or surfaces it may have come in contact with.

As a convenient and inexpensive source of protein, peanut butter is a staple of NDS’ pantry network in the Five Counties area – but the agency, which is in the midst of its Manna Sunday campaign, “pulled the whole Jif today” for review, NDS Director Lizanne Hagedorn said.

In addition to the donated jars of Jif, “more concerning” are the hundreds of homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that are regularly donated to the agency, said Denise Hopkins, NDS’s community food program administrator.

The agency receives “600 to 900” sandwiches each week, in turn distributing them to St. John’s Hospice, an archdiocesan ministry for homeless people in downtown Philadelphia, and similar initiatives such as St. Francis Inn and the Padre Pio Prayer Center, located in the Kensington and Frankford sections of the city respectively.

NDS’ largest sandwich supplier, a Hatfield-based department called Bread Drop, has already been alerted to the recall, Hagedorn said.

The agency also has a number of safeguards in place to ensure food safety, Hagedorn and Hopkins said.

A registered dietitian on staff reviews the nutritional content of donated and purchased items, while monitoring FDA and other consumer updates. Several other NDS employees also stay on top of safety and recall issues, while full-time NDS driver Donald Devlin reviews donations and deliveries at the various pantry sites, Hagedorn said.

Food security is key at all levels in the fight against hunger, said Lizanne Hagedorn (left), director of Archdiocesan Nutrition Development Services (NDS), and Denise Hopkins (right), program administrator NDS Community Food. (Gina Christian)

She and Hopkins also urged donors to be mindful of basic food security when sending items to NDS, especially since customers “so often … are vulnerable in some way. , because of their health, age or dignity,” Hagedorn said.

Checking – and accurately understanding – the dating of food products on items is essential, she said, admitting the differences between ‘best before’, ‘sold by’ and ‘use by’ can sometimes be ‘confusing “.

“Audiences (see) all these phrases about food, not really knowing what (they) mean,” she said.

The United States Department of Agriculture, with which NDS partners to administer several federally funded programs, provides a user-friendly overview terms on its website — although “not everyone has access to a computer to look up” the information, Hagedorn noted.

That’s why simple visual inspection of items is important, she and Ms Hopkins said.

Dents, rust and missing tags are red flags, so “check before you give,” Hopkins said.

And that includes examining the heart, Hagedorn added.

While food drives may seem like a chance to rid the kitchen of unwanted items, NDS strives to “buy what we would eat,” she said. “When we fundraise for peanut butter and jelly, it’s the food we love, and we want the person receiving it to enjoy it and benefit from it for health – everything peanut butter and jelly jelly mean to them.”

***

For more information on the May 2022 recall of certain Jif products, visit website of the United States Food and Drug Administration.

To donate to the Archdiocesan Nutrition Development Services Manna Sunday Campaign, visit the agency online at YouGiveGoods.

To arrange for an NDS donation pickup, contact Denise Hopkins, NDS Community Food Program Administrator, at 215-895-3470 ext. 77823 or [email protected]


Source link

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.