retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Washington Post reports this morning that “the federal government is advising consumers to avoid cookies, cakes, ice cream and crackers made with peanut butter or peanut paste while it continues to investigate an outbreak of salmonella illness that is believed to have killed six people and sickened at least 485 others across the country.”

The cause of the salmonella contamination remains unknown, though the suspected products all contain ingredients supplied by a factory owned by Peanut Corp. of America.

• The New York Times reports that Heartland Payment Systems, “a major payment processing company, disclosed a data breach on Monday that potentially exposed tens of millions of credit and debit cardholders to the risk of fraud in what could quickly become one of the country’s biggest data compromises.” The story says that the breach is believed to have begun last May, but was not detected until late fall.

Heartland reportedly works with 175,000 small businesses and processes about 100 million transactions a month.

KC's View: