Grocery Stores and Loose Nuts-Write to FDA

Posted on: Sat, 11/09/2002 - 1:20am
cathlina's picture
Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

I wrote to Iowa's state inspection office regarding the number of grocery stores that have uncovered bins of fresh peanuts in the produce dept. I also had been in a neighborhood grocery store and noticed in the meat dept. that an employee was mixing ground beef with a Playtex (latex) glove. Geez!

Apparently, from the reply below, it might be helpful to write the FDA if you have had a reaction due to loose nuts in grocery/retail stores. Maybe, they would consider regulations. While I have not had a reaction, I am afraid to eat any foods merchandised close to them. So, there goes the use of fresh produce that I love so much.

Here is the reply I received...

In retail food establishments, this issue has not been addressed in the
2001 Food Code. FDA and ourselves are reviewing allergen issues on the
inspection of food processing plants that have one or more of the 8
major allergens of concern, which includes peanuts and tree nuts. The
main issues of control is adequate labeling (which is not new) and
adequate "clean-out" between products that contain allergen ingredients
and those that don't. Food processing plants also need to verify that
incoming ingredients are free from "cross contact" with allergens of
concern. Re-work is also an issue that needs to be addressed. Due to
the complexity of the issue and the large number of products handled at
one retail store, it has not been addressed at retail. We have not
received any guidance on this issue at retail from FDA at the present
If you have any further questions, please contact Robert Haxton of our
Food and Consumer Safety Bureau at 515/281-6539 or by e-mail at

David Werning
DIA Public Information Officer

Posted on: Sat, 11/09/2002 - 9:36am
mtal's picture
Joined: 04/11/2001 - 09:00

Thanks for posting about this Cathlina. I found that sending a letter directly to the grocery store managers or owners helps. There's a copy of a letter I sent a while back under TAKE ACTION (topic- a long grocery store letter). I was able to convince two stores in my area to only sell peanuts in prepackaged bags.

Posted on: Sat, 11/09/2002 - 10:44am
dmbb's picture
Joined: 10/12/2002 - 09:00

I noticed this week that my local Kroger just moved their loose peanuts and placed other vegetables in their place. I'm wondering how well they cleaned those bins after the move and if those vegetables are contaminated.

Posted on: Sat, 11/09/2002 - 11:02am
cathlina's picture
Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

I am sure the food is experience is that they don't have a clue about allergies.
I am using frozen vegetables or buying things in produce that are prepackaged in a bag far away from the nuts.
My local Wal-Mart did remove loose nuts from their store after I e-mailed their corporate office about it.

Posted on: Sat, 11/09/2002 - 11:09am
cathlina's picture
Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

If anyone has any trouble with Wal-Mart, let me know...whether it's loose nuts or boiled peanuts in the store.
I am a stockholder and I usually get them to pay attention to my requests.

Posted on: Thu, 08/07/2003 - 1:08pm
pgrubbs's picture
Joined: 10/27/2003 - 09:00

I live in Winston-Salem, NC. Last weekend DD and I were in the produce department and there were two large open bins of peanuts- right in the middle of all the veggies! I'm so irked.

Posted on: Thu, 08/21/2003 - 10:35pm
goober_hater's picture
Joined: 08/21/2003 - 09:00

wow, we should do that too!
there are lots of stores in my town that sell peanuts and all sorts of nuts in those bins with the scoops and you get a clear plastic bag full, which really annoys me. what if your peanut allergy is airbourne, and you cant avoid those bins? its pretty ridiculous in my opinion.

Posted on: Wed, 11/12/2003 - 5:22am
Danielle's picture
Joined: 04/08/2003 - 09:00

See my post not to long ago in Main Discussion - Albertson's, Kash n Karry and Publix - oh my gosh!

Peanut Free Store

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