More cases of NC salmonella, one death

 

Friday, January 16, 2009 | 2:36 PM

The Peanut Corp. of America in Blakely, Ga. may be linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak.

Three more NC residents tested positive for salmonella.

The total number of diagnosed cases in the state is four and one of those patients died in November, public health officials said Friday.

The new cases are documented in Brunswick, Caldwell and Catawba counties, but those people have recovered. The patients tested positive for a strain of salmonella typhimurium that has sicked more than 400 people nationwide.

Doctors say the person who died was a Catawba County resident. That person died in November due to a blood infection caused by the disease.

The state's first identified case was reported by Robeson County last Friday.

Officials say it takes several weeks to determine which salmonella cases belong to an outbreak. A series of laboratory tests must be completed to determine if the strain is related to the common source of infection.

The Center for Disease Control identified the national outbreak strain on Dec. 31.

Health officials say the source of the outbreak is likely peanut butter sold in large containers to institutions, food service industries and private-label food companies across the country, but not directly to consumers.

Several companies have now issued voluntary recalls on peanut butter.

In addition, other companies have stopped the sale and distribution of products containing peanut butter, such as peanut butter crackers. A Cary plant that distributes Kellogg's brand Austin and Keebler products halted its distribution of products containing peanut butter earlier this week.

For the latest updates on the national outbreak or for information about Salmonella, see the CDC Website at www.cdc.gov. For information on product recalls, see the FDA Website at www.fda.gov.

 

 

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