Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Announces Results of Preliminary PCA Tests in Their Products

Feb 18, 2009, 08:00 ET from Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage

DENVER, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage today shared some preliminary findings regarding the peanut butter made in-store using certified organic peanuts from the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) of Texas.

  • All of Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers' machines were clean and tested negative by in-store and FDA testing;
  • None of the closed containers of in-store ground peanut butter has thus far tested positive for salmonella contamination;
  • However, most regrettably, one of the in-home opened consumer containers did test positive for salmonella contamination. (It is important to note that most health officials do not consider opened container contamination to be conclusive proof; and instead look for contamination in closed containers).

"We want to stress that it is not Natural Grocers' machinery, nor our products, but the PCA peanuts that are at the heart of the salmonella outbreak. Until we voluntarily recalled it, our fresh ground peanut butter was made using organic peanuts from PCA," said Heather Isely, Executive Vice President and co-owner of Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage. "All of our machines, and thus far, our peanuts, have tested negative. That said, we urge our customers to err on the side of caution. If you have our store-ground peanut butter, please bring it in to any of our locations for a full refund."

The refund is just one part of the voluntary actions undertaken by Natural Grocers, including:

  • A voluntary recall initiated January 29, before there was even a connection to PCA of Texas;
  • An email sent out to their 20,000+ subscribers describing the conditions of the recall;
  • Fliers posted in all stores, and releases sent to the Food and Drug Administration and the Colorado Department of Health;
  • New testing of all bulk products;
  • A new domestic, certified organic peanut vendor, Hampton Farms,

"The situation with PCA saddens us, because we believe in using U.S. sources for our organic products. Most U.S. companies and U.S. organic farmers do a marvelous job and play by the rules; and here you have PCA, this one company that apparently had a lack of regard for standards and concern for its customers and their safety - and all of us, including our loyal customers, are impacted."

Isely added that they are increasing their testing; and that they are still committed to using domestic sources for their certified organic products whenever possible.

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage has added a FACT page at For more information about the salmonella outbreak, go to

About Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage:

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage has grown from the "Mom & Pop" grass-roots business started by Margaret & Phillip Isely in 1955 in Lakewood, Colorado to an expanding 30-store chain with over 900 employees at locations in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and soon Utah. Today, Natural Grocers is still family-owned and Colorado-based. The family has maintained the original goal to offer everyday affordable prices, to enable everyone to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Founded on the belief that "health should not be expensive," the family owners have proudly fought to maintain this policy.

Each store provides a wide variety of approximately 35,000 different quality products, including only 100% organic produce, natural groceries, frozen foods, bulk items, dairy, body care products, a nutritional library, a vast selection of vitamins, minerals and herbal combinations combined with a knowledgeable and trained staff and a free credentialed nutritional coach available in each store for consultations. Online catalogue service is available through Visit our home website at for more information and store locations.

    Nancy Flynn                         Merredith Branscombe
    303-986-4600 X144                   720-235-7363 

SOURCE Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage