FDA Issues Salmonella Peanut Butter Outbreak Update

Posted on March 2, 2007

The FDA has an update on the recent peanut butter recall. It appears that the Salmonella contamination took place at ConAgra's processing plant.

As a follow-up to the recent Salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is conducting an extensive inspection of ConAgra's Sylvester, Georgia processing plant. Samples collected by the FDA revealed the presence of Salmonella. The fact that FDA found Salmonella in the plant environment further suggests that the contamination likely took place prior to the product reaching consumers. Last week, tests by several states identified Salmonella in many open jars of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter recovered from consumers. In these instances, the Salmonella found in the plant and in the open jars matched the outbreak strain recovered from consumers who became ill.
The recall included Peter Pan peanut butter which was pulled from store shelves. There are also some peanut butter toppings that could contain salmonella. These products are listed in the FDA's update. Here are the symptoms of Salmonella.
Symptoms of foodborne illness caused by Salmonella include fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. In persons with poor underlying health or weakened immune systems, Salmonella can invade the bloodstream and cause life-threatening infections or death. Individuals who have recently eaten peanut butter-containing products from these companies and who have experienced any of these symptoms should contact their doctor or health care provider immediately and report the illnesses to their state or local health authorities. Similarly, institutional food establishments and other food service providers who have received reports of illness from consumers after they consumed a product containing this peanut butter are encouraged to share that information with their local health department.
The FDA also has a Q&A about Salmonella and the peanut butter recall.

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