Test finds salmonella in 1 peanut butter container

Source of Article:  http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/6269031.html© 2009 The Associated Press

Feb. 18, 2009, 12:23PM

DENVER — Federal testing found salmonella contamination in an opened container of Vitamin Cottage peanut butter, the grocery chain said Wednesday.

The container was in the home of a Colorado resident who become ill from salmonella, said Heather Isely, executive vice president and co-owner of Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage.

Isely said that because the container had been opened, it would be difficult to determine the source of the contamination.

Officials from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment didn't immediately return a call.

Vitamin Cottage officials voluntarily recalled their packed fresh-ground peanut butter on Feb. 2 as a precaution because the peanuts came from the Peanut Corp. of America.

A nationwide salmonella outbreak was traced to a Peanut Corp. of America plant in Blakely, Ga. Preliminary tests at a second plant in Plainview, Texas, showed possible salmonella contamination.

The plants have closed and Peanut Corp. of America has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Isely said labels from the peanuts that Vitamin Cottage used indicated they came from the Texas plant.

She said none of the unopened tubs of peanut butter taken from Vitamin Cottage stores has tested positive so far. She said the company is still awaiting results from tests on other containers.

Isely said an opened container taken from the home of another Colorado resident sickened by salmonella also tested negative, and that federal Food and Drug Administration testing found no trace of salmonella on any of the peanut-grinding machines in Vitamin Cottage stores.

Vitamin Cottage, based in the Denver suburb of Lakewood, has 25 stores in Colorado, plus others in Texas, New Mexico and Utah.

Colorado health officials say six salmonella cases in the state may be linked to Vitamin Cottage peanut butter. Isely said no cases have been linked to Vitamin Cottage stores outside of Colorado.



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