Because the words "outbreak" and "diarrhea" are scary.

I will have you know that I have been consuming suspect peanut butter, which is mildly amusing seeing as though I am a health reporter and am supposed to be all-knowing about things such as suspect peanut butter and Salmonella outbreaks. But no. I've been eating suspect peanut butter all along.

It came to my attention last week that a recent outbreak of Salmonella is possibly linked to peanut butter. The horror. I love peanut butter. My panic was soon quieted when I learned Peter Pan peanut butter was the culprit. So I continued eating my generic Wal-Mart Great Value peanut butter. Mmmm. Generic peanut butter. All day. On carrots. On crackers. Oh, sweet creamy peanut with zero grams of trans fat (!!).

But then, wait a tick, back up the trolley... I read THIS:

"The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to eat certain jars of Peter Pan peanut butter or Great Value peanut butter due to risk of contamination with Salmonella Tennessee (a bacterium that causes foodborne illness)."

WHAT? Mom? No! The affected peanut butter's product code begins with the number 2111, according to the FDA, and those with said peanut butter must destroy it. Do not discard. Do not throw away. DESTROY, people! Since I keep my jar of trusty (yet, contaminated?) peanut butter in my desk drawer at work, I had to wait until this morning to verify that, indeed, I had been eating suspect product code 2111 Great Value peanut butter.

Meanwhile, the news is slinging forth words such as "diarrhea" and "outbreak" and "fever" and "abdominal cramps" and "contact physician immediately" and "destroy any Peter Pan and Great Value brand peanut butter beginning with product code 2111."

I began to sweat just a little. But the chances of my Great Value peanut butter being contaminated? I'm so sure. It'd never happen. But then I got to work. Opened the drawer. Pulled out the jar of Great Value Creamy Peanut Butter and found this product code: 21116296000816C.

Son of a...