King Nut Peanut Butter and Parnell’s Pride Peanut Butter, which were distributed to schools, hospitals and other food service providers, have been recalled after Salmonella bacteria was found in at least one of the tubs. The peanut butter recall comes as the CDC is investigating the cause of a nationwide salmonella food poisoning outbreak that started to emerge in September 2008.
King Nut Companies, an Ohio based distributor of peanut butter manufactured by Peanut Corporation of America, announced the recall on January 10, 2009. About 1,000 cases of food service peanut butter distributed under the King Nut and Parnell’s Pride labels containing lot codes starting with “8” are being recalled, but the company indicates that other King Nut products are not affected.
The salmonella bacteria was found in an open five-pound tub of King Nut peanut butter provided to a nursing home in Minnesota, after testing by the Minnesota Department of Health.
According to King Nut Companies, the peanut butter was not sold directly to consumers and was distributed to food service providers in Ohio, Michigan, North Dakota, Minnesota, Arizona, Idaho, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Florida.
Last week the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that they were investigating a recent food poisoning outbreak involving the Salmonella typhimurium strain of the bacteria. Nearly 400 people in 42 states have been sickened as a result of the bacteria, with about 70 of the cases resulting in hospitalization.
Salmonella food poisoning causes about 40,000 people in the United States to become ill each year, with symptoms typically appearing within 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the bacteria. Common symptoms can include diarrhea, nausea, fever, vomiting and abdominal cramps. In severe cases, food poisoning can result in hospitalization and potentially life-threatening injury.
Young children, the elderly and those with a compromised immune system are most susceptible to the food poisoning.
Health officials have indicating that they are waiting for test results for the King Nut peanut butter and Parnell’s pride peanut butter before they are able to determine if the contamination involves the same strain of bacteria that has sickened Americans.
The recent salmonella outbreak first surfaced in September 2008, with most individuals falling sick after October 1, 2008.
In 2007, millions of jars of Great Value and Peter Pan peanut butter were recalled by Con Agra Foods after they were linked to over 625 cases of salmonella food poisoning in 47 states, including several deaths.
The contamination that caused that peanut butter recall was eventually linked to problems at Con Agra’s Georgia manufacturing plant, where a leaky roof and defective sprinkler system, combined with poor plant design and inadequate testing procedures, allowed salmonella bacteria to contaminate the jars of Peter Pan peanut butter and Great Value peanut butter.