5 Oahu Salmonella Cases Linked To Peanut Recall

Source of Article:  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29300207/


Health Officials Urge Residents To Check Recall List

updated 11:15 p.m. PT, Fri., Feb. 20, 2009

HONOLULU - The state Department of Health has reported five cases of salmonella poisoning in Hawaii that is linked with a nationwide outbreak stemming from tainted peanut products. However, it said none of the local cases has a verifiable exposure to the products on the recall list.

The five confirmed cases are all on Oahu and those affected range in age from 5 years old to 77 years old, KITV reported.

One person was hospitalized.

Officials said the first case was reported on Nov. 30 and the latest case was reported on Jan. 30.

Health officials said more than 2,000 peanut products have been voluntarily recalled by more than 200 companies nationwide -- and the list grows daily.

The Health Department said it believes only about 15 percent of the recalled products are shipped to Hawaii.

"But we don't know the full extent ourselves. We're still working on that. So, we just, as a precaution, let the public know as much as we know so far," said Larry Lau with the Hawaii Department of Health. "A major concern is it may be possible tainted peanut products could be on your shelf."

"The five cases that have been identified to date were analyzed at our state laboratories division and the results have shown that they're genetically related to the outbreak strain on the mainland," said Becky Kanenaka, DOH Food Borne Surveillance and Response Coordinator.

The Health Department said it has inspectors working with retailers to keep them updated on recalled products as well.

Officials recommend that residents check the peanut products they have before eating them and discard products found on the recall list. That includes cookies, crackers, cereal, candy and ice cream, as well as snacks for pets.

Officials said the broad and growing range of recalled products makes pinpointing the cause slow.

Symptoms of salmonella infection are similar to the stomach flu, but usually include fever.

People who think they may have become ill from eating peanut products should call their doctor.



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