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And we survived the peanut butter scare of aught-seven…

February 17, 2007, 1:40 AM

Jar of Peter Pan peanut butter from the affected lot (Image: Deglr6328/Wikimedia Commons)For the last two days, I think I’ve looked at enough jars of peanut butter to last me a while. People normally don’t return food unless it’s really bad, like if they opened the package and it was green and fuzzy inside when it should be red and slimy. But when the public learned that the Peter Pan and Great Value brands of peanut butter are potentially contaminated with salmonella and the manufacturer (ConAgra) issues a voluntary recall of the product, everyone and their mother came up to the Service Desk with a jar of peanut butter looking for a refund. So far, we’ve taken back two full cartloads of the stuff.

And let me tell you something. Peanut butter may look light, but when you’re pushing an entire cartload of the stuff, it’s HEAVY. I can usually drive two carts through the store with relative ease. I put the heavier one to the rear and drag it, and I put the lighter one in front and steer with my hand and my elbow. But a cart full of recalled peanut butter is something I could barely handle by itself. Usually, to steer a shopping cart, you turn it by the handle in order to point the front end of the cart in the direction you want to go. Not for this. For this kind of a load, forget trying to steer that way. I had to swing the back end of the cart around to point it where I wanted to go, and then kind of beg the cart to continue in the direction I pointed it in. Add to that the fact that I was a bit tired as I’m pushing a whole cartload of peanut butter to the back room, and it made for an interesting walk.

Personally, I can’t wait for this whole peanut butter recall to blow over. First of all, I don’t like pushing heavy carts full of unsellable peanut butter to the back of the store. I don’t like doing it. And secondly, Peter Pan is my preferred brand of peanut butter, even though I only buy it every so often. It competes for my affections with Ragu tomato sauce, and presently, the Ragu is winning.

Still, you have to find it at least somewhat interesting when food goes bad, or is suspected of possibly going bad. Remember the big spinach scare of 2006? That was interesting news, though I don’t remember people coming in droves to return their bagged spinach. I remember only one person coming to return his bagged spinach for a refund.

Web site: Wikipedia on Peter Pan brand peanut butter

Song: SpinnWebe: All Your Freakin Base Already

Quote: To the customer: "How much peanut butter have we taken back?" And then I gesture towards the cart full of peanut butter as I add their jar to the pile...

Categories: Food and drink, Walmart