Todd P. Haymore, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), has released a statement about the nationwide peanut product recall: “Virginia peanuts, because of their superior quality, are generally sold as shelled or in-shell peanuts, and these products are safe to eat.

“They have not been implicated in the recent recall of manufactured products using peanut paste from a single supplier.”

Haymore encourages consumers to buy Virginia peanuts to help protect and support Virginia's peanut industry, one of the many sectors that help to make Virginia agriculture the Commonwealth's No.1 industry.

According to 2007 figures from the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Virginia farmers harvested more than 21,000 acres of peanuts that accounted for more than $12 million in cash receipts that year.

Virginia’s peanut industry not only includes peanut farmers and shelling plants, but many specialty food processors that make products such as cocktail or chocolate-covered peanuts, flavored peanuts, peanut brittle and peanut-based candies.

Many of Virginia’s peanut products have earned the distinctive Virginia's Finest trademark. Virginia’s Finest products undergo a quality review in order to earn the right to use the designation. Quality standards are set by VDACS and industry representatives for each product category.

Sources for those products are on the VDACS Web site at www.vdacs.virginia.gov/virginiafinest/nuts.shtml.

For more information on peanuts and the salmonella outbreak, visit VDACS’ Web site at www.vdacs.virginia.gov.