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National Salmonella in Peanut Butter Outbreak Update

CDC continues to collaborate with public health officials in many states and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of human infections due toSalmonella serotype Typhimurium. As of 9 PM Wednesday, January 21, 2009, the case count is 488 in 43 states and one case in Canada.

From information collected, illnesses began between September 8, 2008 and January 2, 2009, with most illnesses beginning after October 1, 2008. Illnesses that occurred after December 18, 2008 may not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 3 weeks. Please see the Salmonella Outbreak Investigations: Timeline for Reporting Cases for more details. Patients range in age from <1 to 98 years; 47% are female. Among persons with available information, 23% reported being hospitalized. Infection may have contributed to six deaths.

Clusters of infections in several states have been reported in schools and other institutions, such as long-term care facilities and hospitals. King Nut is the only brand of peanut butter used in those facilities for which we have information.

King Nut is produced by Peanut Corporation of America in Blakely, Georgia.  This facility, which is no longer producing any products, has expanded its recall to include all peanut butter and peanut paste produced at this plant since July 1, 2008.  This product was not sold directly to consumers but was distributed to institutions, food service providers, and companies in 24 states, Canada, Korea, and Haiti.  The peanut butter and peanut paste are   ingredients in many products, including cookies, crackers, cereal, candy, ice cream and other foods.

The list of peanut butter and peanut paste containing products that may be affected is still being determined and is incomplete at this time. The FDA and the product manufacturers are working to determine the list of affected products, which may be extensive.  Many companies have already announced whether their products include ingredients being recalled by Peanut Corporation of America, Georgia, and more companies are expected to make similar announcements.
  • In order to make it easier for consumers to determine whether any of the peanut butter-containing products they have at home are subject to recall, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has created and posted an expanded, searchable database that will be updated as new information becomes available: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/peanutbutterrecall/index.cfm
In addition, located on the FDA web site on the Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak where all the recalled products are posted and the continued updates associated with it, at http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/salmonellatyph.html
  • For information on products containing peanut butter from companies not reporting recalls, consumers may wish to consult the company's website or call the toll-free number listed on most packaging.  Please note that information consumers may receive from the companies has not been verified by FDA.  Information about recalled products andSalmonella can be found by calling 1-800-CDC-INFO.
Persons who think they may have become ill from eating peanut butter are advised to consult their health care providers. Most persons infected withSalmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12–72 hours after infection. Recommendations

Based on available information, CDC and FDA recommendations include:

For consumers

  • Do not eat products that have been recalled and throw them away in a manner that prevents others from eating them
  • Postpone eating other peanut butter containing products (such as cookies, crackers, cereal, candy and ice cream) until more information becomes available about which brands may be affected
  • Persons who think they may have become ill from eating peanut butter are advised to consult their health care providers.

For retailers

  • Stop selling recalled products.

For directors of institutions and food service establishments

  • Ensure that they are not serving recalled products.