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Campus vows swift response in case of future mishaps

The university will be more proactive in alerting students of future safety issues, a university official said Thursday.

University officials sent out a campuswide alert via e-mail Thursday informing students of the tainted peanut butter cracker packages removed from Bistro Burnett on Feb. 11.

Shawn Kornegay, associate director of communications, said the alert was sent out of an “abundance of caution.”

“In the unlikely event that something like this happens again, we will send out another campus communication and put up fliers around the campus,” she said.

Dining Services employees removed the Austin brand peanut butter crackers on Feb. 11 because of a massive recall on peanut products after Peanut Corporation of America was found to be the source of tainted products.

According to the alert sent by Kornegay, an employee put the crackers on the shelves on Feb. 9 despite the crackers having been recalled in late January.

According to the alert, only one student reported purchasing the crackers, and there were no cases of illnesses reported at the campus as a result of the incident.

Dining Services and Sodexo Inc., the food service provider for the university, are reviewing their inventory procedures and retraining staff to avoid a similar situation in the future, according to the alert.

Monica Zimmer, public relations director for Sodexo, wrote in an e-mail that Sodexo implemented a new checklist to prevent recalled products being stocked.

“The process involves three steps: Taking inventory of all peanut-related products, cross-checking those products with the recall list and food safety alerts, and signing off with signatures from three managers that the items are safe to stock,” she wrote.

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