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Morris Area, other districts included in peanut hold, recall alert

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday alerted the Minnesota Department of Education that peanuts from Peanut Corporation of America were used in the school lunch commodity food distribution program in January 2007 and were being placed on recall/hold status pending further investigation.

Several area schools received products and the Department of Education has notified Minnesota schools and instructed them to stop using this product and to put it immediately on hold pending further instructions from USDA.

Morris Area, Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, Wheaton, Dawson-Boyd, Campbell-Tintah, Breckenridge, Brandon-Evansville and Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg are among area schools included in the hold notice.

Morris Area Superintendent Scott Monson said the school received the alert late Friday afternoon, and he will have district food service director Kelly Nielsen review the district's food stocks Monday morning to determine if the school has any of the products.

Monson said he wasn't sure how much, if any, products included in the hold/recall would still be in the school's inventory. If anything it found, it could be quarantined, he said.

The Food and Drug Administration announced the expansion of the Peanut Corporation of America recall. The recall was expanded to peanut products from Jan. 1, 2007, forward. The plant is currently closed.

The increased scope now includes a small quantity of peanut butter and both dry and oil-roasted peanuts, which were purchased through the USDA commodity program. The federal commodity program provides food to schools and other entities at no cost.

According to the USDA, one truckload of roasted peanuts in 10 pound cans from Peanut Corporation of America, was delivered for some Minnesota schools on Jan. 15, 2007, and is now included in the recall/hold.

While this is the first alert the department has received regarding peanuts in the USDA commodity program, MDE has been providing continuous updates to Minnesota schools regarding which peanut products have been recalled by the USDA.

Additional information on the Peanut recall is available from the FDA at: and .