WASHINGTON — With the recall of peanut-containing items encompassing nearly 900 products, the Center for Science in the Public Interest here is urging retailers to consult their loyalty databases and reach out to shoppers who’ve purchased affected product.
“Supermarkets enjoy using purchasing data for marketing purposes,” said CSPI staff attorney Sarah Klein, in a statement. “We’re calling on supermarkets to also use that information to protect their customers’ health by alerting them to identify and return tainted foods.”
Wegmans, Costco, Price Chopper, ShopRite and Dorothy Lane Market are among the chains using loyalty data to contact relevant shoppers. Their efforts are especially important since many peanut-containing items have a relatively long shelf life and the recall includes items that may have been produced two years ago, according to CSPI.
“It would be outrageous if some of the deaths in this latest outbreak could have been prevented had a supermarket just used the phone numbers and addresses in its database to notify its customers,” said Klein.
The CSPI’s recommendation comes after a former employee of Peanut Corporation of America’s Blakely, Ga., plant told the host of CBS’ Early Show that he saw a rat dry-roasting in the peanut area of the plant, holes in the roof, roaches and rat droppings.
Attempts by SN to reach PCA for comment were unsuccessful.
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