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Peanut butter and salmonella caution: some sick in LI, 5 deaths in nation

(excerpt from) Newsday.com
5 die in salmonella outbreak; peanut butter recalled
Staff writer Ridgely Ochs contributed to this story.
January 15, 2009

A peanut butter maker that sells bulk supplies to institutions issued a nationwide recall as officials yesterday reported five deaths may now be associated with a salmonella outbreak.

Lynchburg, Va.-based Peanut Corporation of America issued its voluntary recall late Tuesday for 21 lots of peanut butter made at its plant in Blakely, Ga., on or after July 1.

Late yesterday, Kellogg Co. announced a “precautionary hold” on several of its snacks made with peanut butter. Kellogg said it was recalling or holding its Austin and Keebler peanut butter crackers, pending the results of the investigation. It hasn’t received any illness complaints about the snacks, it said in a statement.

Outbreak in 43 states

Health officials earlier confirmed the deaths of two people in Virginia and one in Minnesota associated with the salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 400 people in 43 states. Late yesterday, health officials in Idaho and Minnesota reported two more deaths, bringing to five the number of people who had salmonella when they died, though their causes of death have not been determined.

In New York, 17 cases of salmonella poisoning, including three on Long Island, have been confirmed, according to state health department spokeswoman Beth Goldberg. Seven of those people have been hospitalized; none has died, she said…

SUSPECT: Federal officials are investigating the possibility the source may be bulk peanut butter supplied by Peanut Corp. of America to nursing homes, hospitals, schools, universities, restaurants, delis, cafeterias, bakeries, other food service industries and private label food firms.

AFFECTED BRANDS:

King Nut and Parnell’s Pride.

Kellogg Co. last night said it was removing its Austin and Keebler branded peanut butter crackers due to the outbreak (PCA is one of Kellogg’s peanut paste suppliers).

To date, common brands of peanut butter sold to consumers in grocery stores do not appear associated with the outbreak. Persons who think they may have become ill from eating peanut butter are advised to consult their health care providers.

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