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Health officials link Salmonella outbreak to peanut butter

Feb 15, 2007 | AP

Food and Drug Administration investigators have been sent to a peanut butter plant in south Georgia after a salmonella outbreak that has grown to nearly 300 cases in 39 states since August.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta says it is believed to be the first salmonella outbreak associated with peanut butter.

Doctor Mike Lynch of the CDC says about 20 percent of the 288 infected people have been hospitalized, but none has died. Officials say about 85 percent of the infected people said they ate peanut butter.

Lynch says how salmonella got into the peanut butter is still under investigation.

The Food and Drug Administration in Washington warns consumers NOT to eat certain jars of Peter Pan or Great Value peanut butter due to the risk of contamination. The F-D-A says the affected jars have a product code on the lid that begins with the number "2111."

The agency says both the Peter Pan and Great Value brands are manufactured at a single plant in Sylvester by ConAgra. Great Value peanut butter made by other manufacturers is NOT affected.

ConAgra says it is recalling products only as a precaution. It says none of its tests has indicated the presence of salmonella.

The largest number of cases are reported in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee and Missouri. The illness also has been reported in Georgia.


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