Is Peanut Butter to Blame for the Salmonella Outbreak?

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The answer to today’s headline?


Quite possibly.

Solon, OH-based King Nut Companies, a distributor of peanut butter (not organic) manufactured by Peanut Corporation of America in Lynchburg, VA, has announced a recall of peanut butter distributed under the King Nut label. No other King Nut products are included in this recall.

King Nut took this action as soon as it was informed salmonella had been found in an open 5-lb. tub of the company’s peanut butter.

King Nut distributes peanut butter only through food-service accounts (long-term-care facilities, hospitals, schools, universities, restaurants, delis, cafeterias and bakeries). It is not sold directly to consumers.

King Nut does not supply any of the ingredients for the peanut butter distributed under its label.

“We are very sorry this happened,” says President and CEO Martin Kanan. “We are taking immediate and voluntary action because the health and safety of those who use our products is always our highest priority.

“Because we don��t manufacture peanut butter, we will do what we can to get this product out of distribution and will work with the manufacturer to inform others of this problem,” he adds. “We also distribute peanut butter from this manufacturer under the Parnell’s Pride brand, although we are not the only distributor. However, we have asked our customers to remove this brand as well.”

Kanan says King Nut began contacting customers immediately to stop distribution of all peanut butter with lot codes beginning with “8” and immediately canceled orders with the manufacturer.

Customers are asked to take all King Nut and Parnell’s Pride peanut butter distributed by King Nut out of circulation immediately.

Minnesota officials discovered the contamination as a result of product testing. The state’s cases have the same genetic fingerprint as those in the national outbreak that has sickened 410 people in 43 states (numbers updated yesterday).

Clusters of infections in several states have been reported in schools and other institutions, such as long-term-care facilities and hospitals, and King Nut is the only brand of peanut butter used in the facilities for which the CDC has information. More testing will be conducted to confirm the outbreak’s source.

To date, common brands of peanut butter sold in grocery stores do not appear to be associated with the outbreak.

If you think you may have become ill from eating peanut butter, consult your healthcare provider.

Images courtesy of the CDC


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