A salmonella food poisoning outbreak which began to surface in September 2008 has been linked to contaminated peanut butter served at nursing homes, hospitals, schools and other food service institutions, as well as peanut paste used to make various brands of peanut butter cracker, peanut butter cookies and other products containing peanut butter.
STATUS OF PEANUT BUTTER LAWSUITS: The source of the contamination has been traced to a peanut processing plant in Georgia operated by Peanut Corporation of America. Peanut butter lawsuits have been filed, and food poisoning lawyers are continuing to review potential cases for individuals diagnosed with an illness caused by Salmonella typhimurium.
OVERVIEW: First reports of illness associated with the peanut butter food poisoning outbreak began to surface in September 2008, with most cases occurring between October 1, 2008 and December 31, 2008.
As of January 27, 2009, over 500 reports of salmonella food poisoning have been repored in 43 states involving the same strain of bacteria. More than 100 people have been hospitalized and at least 8 salmonella deaths have been linked to contaminated peanut butter.
The source of the salmonella contamination has been traced to peanut butter and peanut paste manufactured by Peanut Corporation of America at their processing plant in Blakely, Georgia. Salmonella typhimurium has been found in containers of peanut butter sealed at the plant, crackers made from peanut paste produced at the plant and subsequent investigations by federal health officials has identified the bacteria inside the facility.
Symptoms of salmonella peanut butter food poisoning can surface within 12 to 72 hours after consuming the food, with symptoms typically including:
- Abdominal Cramps
PEANUT BUTTER AT HOSPITALS, NURSING HOMES, SCHOOLS On January 10, 2009, a peanut butter recall was issued by King Nut Companies for over 1,000 large tubs between 5 pounds and 50 pounds. The containers were manufactured by Peanut Corporation of America and distributed under the King Nut and Parnell’s Pride brand names to nursing homes, hospitals, schools and other food service institutions in Ohio, Michigan, North Dakota, Minnesota, Arizona, Idaho, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Florida.
The contamination of peanut butter at nursing homes, hospitals and schools posed a particular health risk, since elderly, children and those with a weak immune system are at an increase risk for salmonella food poisoning, which could result in hospitalization or potentially be fatal.
OTHER PEANUT BUTTER RECALLS Peanut paste manufactured by Peanut Corporation of America at the same plant was also sold to manufacturers of crackers, cookies, ice cream and other products.
As of January 27, 2009, nearly 400 different products have been impacted by peanut butter recalls, including:
- Austin Peanut Butter Crackers
- Keebler Peanut Butter Crackers
- Famous Amos Peanut butter Cookies
- Keebler Peanut Butter Cookies
- Perry’s Peanut Butter Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt
- Shurfine Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
- Wegmans Peanut Butter Ice Cream
- Little Debbie Peanut Butter Crackers
- South Bend Chocolate and Fudge with Peanut Butter
- Food Lion Peanut Butter Cookies
- Lofthouse Peanut Butter Cookies
- Chuck’s Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies
- Pastries Plus Gourmet Cookies
- Wal-Mart Peanut Butter Cookies
- PetSmart Great Choice Dog Biscuits
- Weis Market Brand Peanut Butter Crackers
- Abbott Nutrition Peanut Butter Bars
- Hy-Vee Peanut Butter Cookies
- Meijer Peanut Butter Crackers and Peanut Butter Ice Cream
- Private Selection Peanut Butter Passion Ice Cream
- Clif and Luna Peanut Butter and Chocolate Bars
- Classic Breaks Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
- Nature’s Path Peanut Butter Optimum Energy Bars
- NutriSystem Peanut Butter Granola Bars
- Ready Pac and Trader Joe’s Celery with Peanut Butter
- Poco Pac and Grande Gourmet Peanut Butter and Peanut Butter and Jelly Products
- Twisted and Titan Brand Bars containing Peanut Butter
- Blanton’s Candies Peanut Butter Sticks
- Landies Peanut Butter Filled Chocolates
- Health Valley Organic Peanut Crunch Chewy Granola Bars
- Best Brands Peanut Butter Frozen Cookie Dough