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Published: Thursday, 2/12/2009

Sandusky firm recalls ice cream because of salmonella concern

BY TOM HENRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

SANDUSKY Toft s Dairy is recalling half-gallon cartons of its Tin Roof Sundae ice cream that have an expiration date of Jan. 6, 2010 because they may have nuts from Peanut Corp. of America, the company blamed for a nationwide outbreak of salmonella-related illnesses.

Chuck Meisler, Toft s co-owner and secretary-treasurer, said the 109-year-old Sandusky ice cream company never purchased products directly from now-closed Peanut Corp. of America s plant in Blakely, Ga., the center of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration s national probe.

But he said a vendor in Dallas that supplied chocolate-covered peanuts for a Jan. 6 production run of Tin Roof Sundae apparently either purchased nuts from there or a second Peanut Corp. of America plant to come under investigation, one in Plainview, Tex.

The ice cream has a shelf life of one year.

The FBI raided the Georgia peanut facility Monday after FDA officials accused it of knowingly shipping out contaminated products as far back as 2007. The owner, Stewart Parnell, was ordered to testify before a U.S. House investigations subcommittee on Wednesday, but refused.

Toft s was notified by its Dallas vendor after the latter backtracked its internal records search in response to the FDA s widening of its probe.

Mr. Meisler said the news hit Toft s "like a ton of bricks."

"We feel terrible," Mr. Meisler said. "We take a lot of pride in our ice cream."

The company makes 70-some ice cream products. No other ones are believed to be affected, he said.

Anyone who has purchased a half-gallon of Tin Roof Sundae with a Jan. 6, 2010 date on it should tear off the end flap and send it to the following address for a refund: Tin Roof Sundae, Toft Dairy, P.O. Box 2558, Sandusky, Ohio, 44870.

The product also has a UPC code of 19473-00732.

The announcement is posted on Toft s Web site at www.toftdairy.com.

The company has not received any reports of consumer illness, Mr. Meisler said.

"We just hope everything is fine. It s not a good thing for the food business," he said.



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