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Peanut Butter Implicated in Salmonella Outbreak

by 5m Editor
12 January 2009, at 5:27am

US - Minnesota Department of Health has found Salmonella in a brand of peanut butter that has the same genetic fingerprint as the pathogen causing illness in 400 patients across the country.

Officials from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) have issued a product advisory after MDA's preliminary laboratory testing indicated the presence of Salmonella bacteria in a five-pound container of King Nut brand creamy peanut butter.

The product is distributed in Minnesota to establishments such as long-term care facilities, hospitals, schools, universities, restaurants, delis, cafeterias and bakeries. At this time, the product is not known to be distributed for retail sale in grocery stores. State officials are urging establishments who may have the product on hand to avoid serving it, pending further instructions as the investigation progresses.

Eating food contaminated with Salmonella can result in abdominal cramping, diarrhoea, and fever. Anyone who believes they may have become ill as a result of eating this product or foods made with this product should contact their health care provider.

State officials discovered the contamination as a result of product testing initiated after an MDH epidemiological investigation implicated King Nut creamy peanut butter as a likely source of Salmonella infections in Minnesota residents. The Minnesota cases have the same genetic fingerprint as the cases in the national outbreak that has sickened almost 400 people in 42 states; however, laboratory results for the product sample have not yet been linked to this national outbreak. Additional laboratory results are expected in the coming days.

State officials are coordinating their investigation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Food and Drug Administration and other states.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.