Peanut butter food poisoning cases top 500
Source of Article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28864316/
List of recalled cookies, cakes and other treats continues to expand
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 6:39 p.m. PT, Mon., Jan. 26, 2009
Confirmed cases of salmonella infection linked to tainted peanut butter continue to grow, rising to 501 in 43 states, according to latest figures from federal health officials.
cases were reported as of late Sunday by states involved in the outbreak,
mounting numbers of foodborne illness have been
accompanied by a deluge of recalled cakes, crackers, cookies, ice cream, energy
bars and more from dozens of manufacturers and retailers who bought peanut
butter and peanut paste products from a Blakely,
Even companies not linked to
the tainted products made at the Peanut Corp. of
To help consumers, the Food and Drug Administration has set up a searchable list of recalled peanut products on its Web site. No major brands of peanut butter sold in jars have been implicated.
Peanut butter is not normally thought of as a high-risk product for salmonella infection. The bacteria, a frequent source of food poisoning, are supposed to be killed off in the roasting process. Officials say the bacteria remain dormant in the peanut butter until eaten, when they start growing and cause infection.
Originally the problem appeared limited to peanut butter shipped in big tubs to institutional customers such as nursing homes. But then peanut paste was implicated. Made from ground roasted peanuts, it is used as an ingredient in dozens of other products sold directly to consumers.
Investigators from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are continuing to look for a precise source of the contamination, a spokeswoman said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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