Peanut Butter May Be Cause Of Salmonella Outbreak

It wouldn’t be officially the New Year without a little mayhem from the health department! Already federal officials are testing the 5 pound tubs of peanut butter in Minnesota to see if it is responsible for an outbreak of salmonella typhimurium that has spread all around the nation. 400 people in 42 states are already sick.

King Nut Companies in Solon, Ohio sells and distributes only to hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and restaurants. On Saturday they issued a voluntary recall.

Stephanie Kwisnek – the spokeswoman for the Food and Drug Administration – stated that the tests being conducted have not been completed yet – but they could be linked to the outbreak that has been occurring for three months. Results should be found early this week. “There is insufficient information at this time to conclusively link this product to the national outbreak,” she says.

The Department of Health in Minnesota had tested a tub of peanut butter that was taken from a nursing home after many of the patients had been sick after eating it. The peanut butter had tested positive for generic salmonella. “We’ve have 30 illnesses in Minnesota that are connected to the outbreak strain, and all of those 30 report eating some type of peanut butter, and many if not most of them have been connected to this King Nut brand,” Schultz says.

According to King Nut the particular spread had been manufactured by Peanut Corp of America – which is located in Lynchburg, Virginia. The FDA has already started testing at this plant. The president of PCA – Stewart Parnell – said that they do not sell peanut butter in retail sizes.

In a release Sunday, the company stated: “To date, the only conclusive testing linking salmonella to PCA’s product was done on an open container of the peanut butter in a large, institutional kitchen. The history of the handling of that open container is unknown at this time.”

King Nut is asking customers to stop distributing all peanut butter with lot codes beginning with “8,” sold as King Nut peanut butter and Parnell’s Pride peanut butter, says president Martin Kanan.

“We are very sorry this happened,” Kanan says. “We are taking immediate and voluntary action because the health and safety of those who use our products is always our highest priority.”

January 12th, 2009 • tonks • News and Opinion Comments Off

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