Food bank tosses peanut products

RALEIGH They have been forced to throw out hundreds of pounds of peanut butter products that have been recalled.

"Candy, cookies, crackers, granola bars, anything like that we're going to set those aside," Warehouse Project Manager Jim Rasmussen said. The list is very long. It's pages and it's hard to rundown, when I pick this up to see if it's on. If it's good, we then package it up, if it's bad, we dispose of it properly.

And it comes at a time when more and more people are turning to food banks for help.

Officials with Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina say after sifting and sorting through donations, they had to throw out 125 pounds last Saturday.

"For what we have in house, it slows us down quite a bit," Rasmussen said. "It's the time consumption that's the one that really takes us."

Despite having to toss some of the items, there is a silver lining. The food bank actually used it as an example for the rest of the country.

"We serve as a model for food banks across the country with the USDA because we have a great system of getting the word out," Food Bank Vice President Allen Reep said.

They got the word out to more than 900 agencies quickly. In addition to removing potentially tainted items, a new challenge is reassuring the public.

Reep said the recall makes people wonder if certain products are safe.

And though a weak economy has increased demand for the need for help, officials say donations are at a healthy level at least for now.

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