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Veggie Booty Salmonella Poisoning
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Veggie Booty Snack Recalled for Salmonella Contamination; Over 50 Cases Reported so Far, Mostly Children

Jul 2, 2007 | Parker Waichman LLP Veggie Booty has been blamed for 50 cases of Salmonella poisoning in 17 states, causing the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a recall order for the popular vegetarian snack food.  Because the puffed corn-and-rice treat is marketed to children, most of the victims are under the age of three.  So far, cases of Veggie Booty caused Salmonella have appeared in New York, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas.  Robert’s American Gourmet Food Inc, the Sea Cliff, New York company that manufactures the Veggie Booty snacks, is cooperating with the recall and has provided information on its website for consumers who want a refund.

Salmonella is a potentially deadly type of food poisoning, symptoms of which included fever, abdominal pain, nausea, gas and bloody diarrhea.  Symptoms appear within 36 hours of exposure, and usually last four to seven days.  In very severe cases, Salmonella can lead to kidney failure and other complications.  Salmonella can be particularly dangerous for children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.  Some victims of Salmonella will develop a disease called Reiter’s Syndrome, a difficult- to- treat condition that causes severe joint pain, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination.  Reiter’s Syndrome can plague its victims for months or years, and can lead to chronic arthritis.

While public health officials haven’t identified the original source of the Salmonella contamination, they have been able to tie the most severe cases to the Veggie Booty snacks.   They have also identified the strain of the bacteria as Salmonella Wadsworth.  This is a rare strain of the bacteria that has not previously been linked to outbreaks in the United States.  While it is no more virulent than other more common strains of Salmonella, the FDA did say that the unusual nature of this bacterium made it easier for health officials to link the 50 incidents that have been reported so far.  

This is just the latest Salmonella outbreak to be linked to a popular children’s snack food.  In February, the FDA ordered a recall of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter after those popular brands were found to be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.  So far, more than 600 cases of Salmonella poisoning have been tied to the contaminated peanut butter.  The source of the contamination was traced to a ConAgra Foods factory in Sylvester, Georgia.  

The FDA is telling anyone who has Veggie Booty treats in their home to throw them away immediately.  Anyone who has eaten the snack foods should be on guard for Salmonella symptoms, and should contact their physician if they experience any gastro-intestinal illness.  The FDA says it expects that more cases of Salmonella poisoning will be reported once word of the contamination spreads.

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