salmonella poisoning linked to peanut plant reported
Source of Article: http://www.news-press.com/article/20090205/HEALTH/90205016/1013/LIFESTYLES
A North Florida resident has been diagnosed with
salmonella poisoning linked to a nationwide outbreak, the state Department of
Health reported late Wednesday.
A resident of Bradford
County was briefly
hospitalized after showing symptoms of infection with the salmonella
bacteria. The bacteria matched the DNA "fingerprint" of Salmonella Typhimuirium, which has been traced to products produced
by a Peanut Corp. of America plant in Blakely, Ga.
Florida becomes the
44th state with an illness linked to the bug, which has sickened more than
550 people and killed eight, according to the Food and Drug Administration
and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Meanwhile, the number of recalled peanut products is approaching 1,100 in
what independent experts said appears to be a record for foods consumed by
Brand-name peanut butter in jars is believed to be safe. But a host of foods
not commonly associated with peanut products, such as brownies, dog biscuits
and even chicken breasts, are on the burgeoning recall list because they may
contain such products as peanut paste.
It is not known which product the Florida
lawmakers vowed to press for stronger food safety laws and more money for
inspections. "There is an openness to putting
together the strongest legislation possible," said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.
Democrats are dusting off legislation that went nowhere last year and are
hoping for better luck under President Obama, who has criticized the FDA's
handling of the outbreak.
At least four major bills to reform the food safety system have been introduced
or will be soon. All would give the FDA authority to order recalls, which are
The FDA had to invoke bioterrorism laws to get testing records from Peanut
Corp. of America.
"I expect that food poisoning will never go away, but there's
so many things that could be done better," said Jeff Almer
of Savage, Minn.,
whose mother, Shirley Mae Almer, died. Almer has sued Peanut Corp. of America.
Florida Department of Health spokeswoman Susan Smith said the Bradford County case appears to be an isolated
incident, though diagnosis can be tricky.
"Unless you go to a doctor and get diagnosed and a sample is taken where
they can isolate the organism, you don't have a confirmed diagnosis,"
said Tim O'Connor, Palm Beach County Health Department spokesman.
Further, the CDC states that for every reported case of salmonella, another
38 cases go unreported.
"We are taking this very seriously," Smith said. "Certainly,
if anyone who has consumed peanut products feels they are having symptoms,
they would need to reach out to their primary care physician."