Official: Number of recalled crackers sold unclear

It’s still unclear how many potentially dangerous crackers were sold before Dining Services pulled them from shelves at Bistro Burnett on Feb. 11, a university official said.

Shawn Kornegay, associate director of communications, wrote in an e-mail that a full inventory taken by Sodexo Inc., the university’s food service provider, showed that Bistro Burnett sold at least one package of recalled peanut butter crackers, but could not provide the exact number of packages sold.

“The individual who purchased the package of crackers was identified and did not become ill,” Kornegay said. “Sodexo is taking this situation very seriously and has been in contact with the individual to report it as a food safety complaint.”

The person’s identity could not be revealed because of privacy issues, Kornegay said.

Despite the crackers having been found and sold on campus, Dining Services and Sodexo didn’t alert students.

Kornegay said Sodexo decides how to respond when such a case arises. Sodexo communicated individually with the person identified as purchasing a package of crackers and determined no need for a response beyond that, she said.

Monica Zimmer, public relations director for Sodexo, wrote in an e-mail that Sodexo does not send alerts directly to its customers.

“Sodexo notified TCU officials that peanut butter crackers had been mistakenly stocked and subsequently removed from the shelves,” Zimmer wrote.

Zimmer did not further comment on the findings of the full inventory.

Rick Flores, general manager for Dining Services, declined to comment.

Dining Services took the Austin brand peanut butter crackers from shelves because of a massive recall issued when Peanut Corporation of America was investigated for being the source of salmonella outbreaks across the nation.

Zimmer said the recall line contained more than 2,000 peanut products making this recall the most complex one yet.

“At TCU, Sodexo has implemented a new checklist to prevent recalled products being stocked,” she wrote.

Sodexo made the three-step checklist, which requires the signatures of three managers after taking inventory of all peanut-related products and cross-checking those products with the recall list and food safety alerts, to ensure verification of product safety with the complex recalls, Zimmer wrote.