Feds: Tainted peanut goods from one source

Jan. 22, 2009 at 9:37 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Peanut butter and peanut paste made by a Virginia company are the only source of a salmonella outbreak sickening nearly 500 people, federal officials said.

The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta found 14 institutions where people became ill bought peanut butter made by Peanut Corp. of America, based in Lynchburg, Va., The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

An agency analysis said many of the people who became sick ate prepackaged peanut butter sandwich crackers sold under the Austin and Keebler labels of Kellogg Co. Kellogg, which used Peanut Corp.'s ingredients, has recalled the products.

The nationwide salmonella outbreak has sickened at least 486 people in 43 states.

Health officials in Connecticut and Minnesota reported finding the Salmonella Typhimurium strain involved in the outbreak in containers of Peanut Corp.'s peanut butter.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigators said they found a different salmonella strain in some areas of the company's Blakely, Ga., plant, the Journal said. The agency still is performing tests at the plant, and said products containing peanut butter or paste made at the plant after July 1 should be recalled.

Peanut Corp. makes peanut butter distributed to nursing homes, schools and other facilities as well as peanut paste. Last week, the company recalled peanut butter and peanut paste -- both also used in consumer products -- made at its Blakely plant.

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