Salmonella Infection Numbers Still Rising; Recalls Rise Also

  • Meijer Inc. of Grand Rapids, Mich., is pulling back two types of crackers and two varieties of ice cream sold in five states at its stores and at gas stations.
  • The South Bend Chocolate Co., of South Bend, Ind., is recalling assorted chocolates, valentine hearts, peanut butter fudge and peanut butter chocolate fudge.
  • General Mills of Minneapolis is recalling two flavors of snack bars: Larabar Peanut Butter Cookie snack bars and JamFrakas Peanut Butter Blisscrisp snack bars.
  • McKee Foods Corp. of Collegedale, Tenn., has recalled Little Debbie Peanut Butter Toasty and Peanut Butter Cheese Sandwich Crackers.
  • Hy-Vee Inc., of Des Moines, which distributes in several states in the midwest, recalled various bakery products containing peanut butter.
  • Food Lion, of Salisbury, N.C., with stores in the southeast and mid-Atlantic states, has removed Bake Shop peanut butter cookies from its shelves.
  • Perry's Ice Cream, of Buffalo, N.Y., announced a voluntary recall of select ice cream products containing peanut butter sauce, which were distributed in five states.
  • Meanwhile, Kellogg of Battle Creek, Mich., said Monday that tests confirmed salmonella bacteria in a single package of one of its recalled peanut butter crackers.

    According to the Associated Press, Kellogg said U.S. health officials confirmed the finding in a packet of Austin Quality Foods Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter. The company had issued a major recall late last Friday for 16 of its products made with peanut butter, including Keebler cheese and peanut butter sandwich crackers and Keebler and Famous Amos peanut butter cookies.

    All the recalls followed a request late last week from the FDA for salmonella testing by food companies that may have bought peanut butter or peanut paste from the Peanut Corp. plant in Georgia.

    On Sunday, the FDA said sources of salmonella contamination had been traced to the plant.

    "At this time, the FDA has traced a source of Salmonella Typhimurium contamination to a plant owned by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), which manufactures both peanut butter that is institutionally served in such settings as long-term care facilities and cafeterias, and peanut paste - a concentrated product consisting of ground, roasted peanuts -- that is distributed to food manufacturers to be used as an ingredient in many commercially produced products including cakes, cookies, crackers, candies, cereal and ice cream," the agency said.

    Peanut Corp. issued a wider recall over the weekend for more products and lot numbers relating to peanut butter and peanut paste products manufactured on or after July 1, 2008, at the plant.

    "The products being recalled are sold by PCA in bulk containers ranging in size from five to 1,700 pounds. The peanut paste is sold in sizes ranging from 35-pound containers to product sold by the tanker container," an FDA statement said.

    The FDA urged companies to inform their customers whether their peanut butter products have peanut butter or peanut paste obtained from the factory.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Tuesday that the latest salmonella illness was recorded on Jan. 9 and that the victims range in age from younger than 1 to 98. Forty eight percent are female.

    The strain of salmonella involved with the outbreak has been identified as Salmonella Typhimurium, the most common of the more than 2,500 types of salmonella bacteria in the United States.

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