andrew schneider investigates

January 12, 2009

Peanut butter sickens hundreds

Filed under: FDA — Andrew Schneider @ 14:55

At first, the Food and Drug Administration said it was recalling 5-pound, industrial use, jugs of King Nut peanut butter and consumers weren’t at risk because the nut spread was sold to commercial users feeding many people.

But today, the Minnesota departments of Agriculture and confirmed that laboratory analyses have shown a genetic match between the strains of salmonella bacteria found in a container of King Nut brand creamy peanut butter and the strains of bacteria associated with nearly 400 illnesses around the country, including 12 in Washington state. The range in age from 10 to three aged 55.

Donn Moyer, communications director for the Washington Health Department, said late today that none of Washington’s cases came from nursing homes, hospitals or other institutions but that “no source has been identified for any of our cases yet.”


CDC map shows location of persons Infected with the Outbreak Strain of Salmonella Typhimurium, United States, by State, September 1, 2008 to January 9, 2009. USCDC

King Nut peanut butter is produced by Peanut Corp. of America, of Lynchburg, Va., and is distributed nationally by Ohio-based King Nut Cos. The product is not sold in retail stores but is used in establishments such as long-term care facilities, hospitals, schools, universities, restaurants, delis, cafeterias and bakeries.

Eating food contaminated with salmonella can cause abdominal cramping, diarrhea 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.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and many state health departments are continuing investigations of how many people may be exposed to the contaminated peanut butter.

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