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Peanut Butter Salmonella Poisoning
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13 cases of salmonella in Indiana

Feb 17, 2007 | Thirteen cases of salmonella tennessee, the outbreak associated with Peter Pan peanut butter, have been confirmed in Indiana.

State epidemiologists will not say which counties have confirmed cases, “but they are spread across the state,” said Eric Deckers, spokesman for the Indiana State Department of Health. When any disease or outbreak affects five or fewer people in a county, the county is not identified, according to state protocol.

As of Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had reported 288 cases of salmonella tennessee in 39 states.

State health officials are warning consumers not to eat Peter Pan peanut butter and certain jars of Great Value peanut butter sold by Wal-Mart. The affected jars have a product code on the lid that begins with the number 2111. Great Value has not been implicated in the outbreak but is manufactured in the same plant as Peter Pan and is believed to be at similar risk of contamination.

Symptoms of salmonella infection include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, cramps, nausea, and gas, usually 18 to 36 hours after exposure. Symptoms may last 48 to 72 hours. People with poor underlying health or weakened immune systems are at risk for life-threatening infections. Most cases of salmonella infection are short-lived and do not require medical care or antibiotics.

People who ate Peter Pan or Great Value peanut butter and did not become ill or who are no longer ill should discontinue eating it. Return jars to the store for a refund, or get one from ConAgra, the manufacturer, by sending the lid to the company. The CDC is testing peanut butter from people who have tested positive for salmonella tennessee. At this point, salmonella has not been isolated from the peanut butter.

“Individuals who have eaten a different brand of peanut butter do not need to be concerned,” said Lynae Granzow, a state epidemiologist, in a statement. “Also, this is still the season for viral gastroenteritis, and many people who are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms most likely are not involved in this outbreak.”

According to the Food and Drug Administration, the outbreak appears to be ongoing, and the first person affected may have become ill in August. The FDA still hopes to narrow down the potential source of the outbreak to a more specific lot number or expiration date.

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