Salmonella Outbreak Secondary to Peanut Butter

A  new outbreak of food contaminated by Salmonella was first recognized in November 2008. This discovery was made possible by the diligent work of CDC, CDC Pulse Net, FDA and the Epidemiology sections of the states of Minnesota and Connecticut.This discovery was notable for the occurrence of a new Salmonella typhimurium strain.It was soon determined by these agencies that the contaminated vehicle was a type of bulk peanut butter “King Nut”.The epidemic strain was recovered from unopened containers of this product.This product was traced back to the” Peanut Corporation of America”It was later determined that 2 well known brands of peanut butter crackers-Keebler and Austin were also contaminated.The products  produced by this plant included:peanut butter,whole peanuts, and peanut butter paste and other peanut products.At this time there is no evidence that common grocery store peanut butters i.e. major national brands are involved in this outbreak. The problem with this outbreak is that the company was a major supplier to many food producers. This has resulted in a broad product recall involving more than 2000 different products.This includes both human and animal food products.For a listing of the products recalled you can go to www.fda.gov.The recall on products produced by this company has now been extended to products produced since 2007.

To date there have been approximately 600 cases nationwide in 44 states with 116 hospitalizations and 8 deaths in which the illness may have played a role.There have been 7 cases in Mississippi though there probably is at least 10 times that number.

Advice to the public:

1.Major brand peanut butters purchased in grocery stores may be safely consumed

2.Go to fda web site and determine if  you have any of the recalled products in your home.If you do destroy them in a manner in which there is no possiblity that they can be consumed by others.

3. People who have become ill while eating peanut containing products especially those on the recall list should consult their health care provider.

4.There is no evidence that this Salmonella strain is more deadly thatn other Salmonella strains.

Web Sites for further information for health care professionals or the public:

1.www.fda.gov

2.www.msdh.state.ms

3.www.cdc.gov

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