Cereals: Peanut Butter: The New Hazardous Food? Or Could It Have Been Something Else?
R. F. Stier. Consulting Food Scientists, Sonoma, CA, U.S.A. Cereal Foods World 54(4):192-193.
Cereal Foods World Columnist Richard F. Stier asks, “So, what does a discussion on peanuts and peanut butter have to do with the cereal industry?” In a word: “everything.” Processes that were designed to kill pathogens will be undone if the sanitary conditions in the plant allow the product to become contaminated after processing. Look at what happened with Malt-O-Meal not once but twice. Potato chips have even been implicated in a salmonella outbreak thanks to contaminated seasonings. The processes by which cereal-based products are manufactured include baking, extrusion, drum drying, and frying. These processes are usually designed to not only cook the product but may also be adequate to kill most pathogens. The efficacy of the process will depend upon the water activity of the product as noted above and the kind of process.