Timeline of the Salmonella Outbreak

Peanut Recall Timeline

Sept. 1, 2008 -- Earliest onset of illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sept. 15, 2008 -- The FDA refuses an attempt to ship the chopped peanuts back into the United States from Canada.

Oct. 23, 2008 -- The Georgia Department of Agriculture inspection notes some of the equipment at the plant was not properly maintained and cleaned and documents some mildew on the ceiling of a storage room.

Nov. 10, 2008 -- The CDC begins monitoring incidences of salmonella in 12 states.

Nov. 24, 2008 -- A 78-year-old woman in Kingsport, Tenn., dies after battling a high fever and diarrhea for nearly a week, according to medical reports provided to the Bristol, Va., Herald Courier. Gloria "Jeannie" Fields believes her mother is a victim of the national crisis.

Nov. 25, 2008 -- Incidences of salmonella are reported in 16 states.

Early December 2008 -- A closer look at salmonella illnesses is under way at the FDA and the CDC. "These combined clusters were then joined for an intense investigation and communication during December into early January, that usually starts with numerous interviews to suggest the likely food item and/or common exposures followed by these detailed epidemiologic studies of these food items," CDC assistant surgeon general Ali Khan told Senate lawmakers Feb. 5, 2009. "The early epidemiologic evidence suggested an association with peanut butter served in institutions as a possible explanation for at least a part of the outbreak."

Dec. 21, 2008 -- Shirley Mae Almer, of Perham, Minn., dies at age 72. "She died because every morning she liked to have toast with peanut butter," said Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar last week.

January 2009 -- An elderly woman in Northeast Ohio dies in a nursing home after getting sick Christmas Day. According to Anne Morse, assistant director of nursing for the Summit County Health District, a salmonella infection she contracted ''contributed to her death. … I don't think it was the cause of death," Morse told the Akron Beacon Journal. "As I understand it, she had a lot of other health issues.''

Jan. 4, 2009 -- Doris Flatgard, 87, dies after eating peanut butter at a Brainerd, Minn., assisted living home.

Jan. 7, 2009 -- "On Jan. 7 and 8, based on conversations with the CDC, FSIS [Food and Safety Inspection Service] and the Minnesota Department of Health about preliminary epidemiological data, FDA decided to begin to investigate institutional food service sources of peanut butter rather than wait for more conclusive data," FDA food safety director Stephen Sundlof told senators last week.

Peanut Recall Evolution

Jan. 8, 2009 -- "Based on the preliminary information from CDC's multi-state case-controlled study, FDA made its initial contact with the King Nut Peanut Company -- King Nut Company in Ohio," Sundlof testified.

Jan. 9, 2009 -- The FDA initiates an inspection of the Blakely, Ga., plant. "Before we had absolute conclusive evidence, but we're fairly certain that those products were involved, we went to the plant, I believe that was on the 9th of January, and we discussed the findings with the company," Sundlof said. "Early on in the inspection, we asked had there ever been a positive salmonella finding for King Nut peanut butter, and the firm provided us that information."

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