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Peanut Butter + Data Mining = Saving Lives

Posted by valariewarren on June 22, 2013

ImageData mining can be a lifesaving tool quite literally. In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration linked forty-one cases of salmonella poisoning to a New Mexico peanut butter plant ( ). The product; which was sold nationwide in grocery stores like Costco, Trader’s Joe and Kroger, were sold to millions of customers(myself included) prior to the issued recall. Although I had forgotten that I had purchased the jar of peanut butter for some time from Costco, A few days after the national recall, I soon received a call from the grocery store requesting that I either return or destroy the jar of peanut butter due to the health issue at hand. I had completely forgotten that I had purchased the peanut butter from there store many many weeks before the health scare even began. But Costco was able to contact me about my purchase because they require all of their customers to use a membership card which is linked to a data mining tool that tracks a detailed list of my purchase history. The truth is data mining is a great tool not only for businesses, but also for consumers as data mining aids in keeping consumers aware of recalls for hazardous products ( ).

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