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Salmonella Outbreaks: Mainers at risk for Peanut Butter Poisoning?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been receiving reports, from many states, including Maine, of illnesses caused by a type of Salmonella called Salmonella Typhimurium. Several deaths may also be associated with this outbreak.

After much laboratory testing and analysis, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC confirmed that the sources of the outbreak were peanut butter and peanut paste produced by the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) at its Blakely, Georgia, processing plant.

Peanut paste is a concentrated product consisting of ground, roasted peanuts that are distributed to food manufacturers to be used as an ingredient in many commercially produced products including cakes, cookies, crackers, candies, cereal and ice cream.

As a result of this finding, a number of foods containing peanut butter and peanut paste produced by PCA from July 1, 2008 until now were recalled on January 13, 2009. On January 28, 2009, PCA expanded its recall to include all peanut products produced on or after January 1, 2007.

Some of the recalls involve foods sold directly to consumers, such as peanut butter crackers, peanut butter cookies, and ice cream made with peanut butter, and others involve foods sold directly to institutions, restaurants, the food service industry, and private label food companies.

Copyright 2009 Briggs & Wholey by Elizabeth Stoll

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