No Peanut Butter At HISD Schools

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HISD is making a bold, courageous move against the scourge of possibly poisoned peanut butter.

It's cleaning out all its vending machines of any trace of peanut-butter crackers, confiscating any such potentially deadly crackers from kids' lunches, and even taking away PB&Js from students who bought them from home.

(No-doubt delicious entrees will be offered to kids who have their peanut-butter taken. Entrees will even be offered if a kid has peanut-butter crackers from home taken, which seems like a good trade for the kid.)

Why the panic? A nationwide recall by Kellogg's of some peanut-butter products.

Says Uhl:

When the initial recall of King Nut peanut butter was announced, HISD checked all of its supplies and determined that the district had none of the product. Additionally, the recall did not affect retail peanut butter brands and posed no danger to our students who bring their lunch.

Now a voluntary recall of peanut butter crackers has been added, which does affect the district and, potentially, students who bring their lunches to school. One of the brands listed in the recall is in vending machines across the district, so an order was immediately issued to all HISD facilities to shut down the machines until the vendor arrives to remove the products. Since the recall seems to be evolving, HISD is taking the additional precaution of pulling all peanut butter products district wide, until the safety of the products can be assured.

It's not the first time this has happened, Uhl says. In February 2007 salmonella-tainted peanut butter (which is even worse than extra-crunchy) caused the district to take similar steps.

No word yet on when the peanut-butter ban will be lifted.

-- Richard Connelly

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