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FDA and CDC Issue Precautionary Advice Pending Salmonella Outbreak Investigation

Jan. 17, 2009 -- The FDA and CDC are recommending that consumers not eat products containing peanut butter (such as cookies, crackers, cereal, candy, and ice cream) until information becomes available about whether those products are linked to an ongoing salmonella outbreak that may have contributed to six deaths.

At least 474 people in 43 states have been sickened by the outbreak strain of Salmonella typhimurium. Peanut butter has been associated with the outbreak. Peanut butter and peanut paste made by the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) at a facility in Blakely, Ga., have already been recalled in the wake of the outbreak.

On January 16, the FDA asked food makers nationwide to check whether their peanut-containing products include a recalled peanut paste made by PCA and to recall or hold those products as a precaution.

Here is advice from the FDA and CDC for consumers:

  • Don't eat recalled products. Throw them away in a manner that prevents others from eating them.
  • Postpone eating other peanut butter containing products (such as cookies, crackers, cereal, candy, and ice cream) until information becomes available about whether that product may be affected.
  • People who think they may have become ill from eating peanut butter are advised to consult their health care providers.

Peanut Butter Recall Recap

The FDA is posting recall notices on its web site. But the salmonella investigation is ongoing, and more recalls may be in the works.

"The list of products that may be affected is still being determined and is incomplete at this time, states the CDC's web site. The FDA is working with product manufacturers to make that list, "which may be extensive," states the CDC.

Health officials say that national, name-brand peanut butters sold in grocery stores haven't been linked to the outbreak. PCA's peanut butter wasn't sold directly to consumers; instead, it was sold in bulk for institutional and food service industry use.

Today, Hy-Vee Inc. recalled peanut butter products made in the chain's bakery departments in seven states -- Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota -- because they contain PCA peanut butter. The products are: Peanut Butter Cookies, Monster Cookies, Peanut Butter Reese's Pieces Cookies, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Lunchbox Reese's Pieces Cookies, Lunchbox Peanut Butter Cookies, People Chow Party Mix, and Assorted Truffle Fudge. All sell-by dates are included in this recall. The products are sold in various packaging and quantities and have a Hy-Vee price label attached. All items should be destroyed or returned to Hy-Vee for a full refund.

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