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Because of Salmonella Investigation, Kellogg Company Puts a Precautionary Hold on Austin and Keebler Brand Peanut Butter Crackers

Jan. 15, 2009 -- The Kellogg Company is telling people not to eat Austin and Keebler brand peanut butter crackers, pending the results of an investigation of a salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter.

The Kellogg Company has put a "precautionary hold" on its Austin and Keebler brands of Toasted Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Crackers, Cheese and Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers, and Peanut Butter-Chocolate Sandwich Crackers.

Kellogg hasn't received any complaints or reports of illness related to those products. But the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), which is the focus of an investigation of a salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 434 people in 43 states, is one of Kellogg's peanut butter suppliers.

Kellogg is taking its peanut butter crackers off store shelves and encouraging consumers to "hold and not eat these products until regulatory officials complete their investigation of PCA and Kellogg provides further information as to the resolution of this issue," a Kellogg news release states.

Kellogg says that although no additional consumer action is necessary at this time, consumers who have questions or would like a product refund can call the Kellogg Consumer Response Center at 888-314-2060.

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to 5 Deaths

Health officials are saying that the salmonella outbreak may have contributed to five deaths. Two of those deaths were in Virginia, two in Minnesota, and one in Idaho.

The states with the highest number of cases are California (57), Ohio (57), Massachusetts (40), Minnesota (33), and Michigan (20).

States not included in the outbreak are Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, and South Carolina.

Symptoms of salmonella infection are diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps beginning 12 hours to 72 hours after infection. Illness usually lasts four to seven days. Most people recover without treatment, but severe infection may occur when salmonella bacteria spread from the intestines into the bloodstream. Without antibiotic treatment, such cases can result in death.

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