At press time, the Food and Drug Administration was still in the process of conducting a very active and dynamic investigation into the source of the most recent Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak. The FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state partners have traced sources of Salmonella Typhimurium contamination to a plant in Georgia owned by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), which manufactures peanut butter and peanut paste—a concentrated product consisting of ground, roasted peanuts—that are both distributed to food manufacturers to be used as an ingredient in many commercially-produced products including cakes, cookies, crackers, candies, cereal and ice cream. In addition, PCA peanut butter is distributed to and institutionally served in such settings as long-term care facilities and cafeterias.
The FDA has notified PCA that product samples originating from its Blakely processing plant have been tested and found positive for Salmonella by laboratories in the states of Minnesota and Connecticut. Those two states have reported to FDA that samples of King Nut peanut butter tested in those states are a genetic match to the strain of Salmonella associated with the nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium. King Nut is a distributor of PCA product.
The FDA recommends that consumers avoid eating any of the products that have been recalled and discard them. But it appears that major national brands of jarred peanut butter are not affected by the PCA recall. PCA does not sell peanut butter directly to consumers. Since this matter is still being followed by governmental agencies – federal and state – I advise all of our readers to get as much current information as possible on this health concern. The FDA has created a searchable list of products and brands associated with the expanded PCA recall. At press time, there had been 125 products recalled. This list is available on the FDA website at: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/peanutbutterrecall/index.cfm.
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