Throw away some types of peanut butter |

Throw away some types of peanut butter

Steve Lynn
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY ” Consumers should throw away certain jars of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter because of a nationwide salmonella outbreak associated with the brands.

Consumers can return to ConAgra lids of jars with a code beginning “2111” for a refund, the company said.

The salmonella outbreak, which federal health officials said Wednesday has sickened 288 people in 39 states since August, was linked to tainted peanut butter produced by ConAgra at a plant in Sylvester, Ga. How salmonella got into peanut butter is still under investigation, said Dr. Mike Lynch, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Jill Hunsaker, public health manager for Eagle County, said all 10 people in Colorado diagnosed with salmonella between Aug. 2006 and February had the same strain of salmonella. She said those cases were due to the contaminated peanut butter.

No salmonella cases associated with the outbreak have been identified in Eagle County, she said. No new cases have been reported in February, she said.

However, City Markets in Eagle County sold the peanut butter until yesterday, when ConAgra announced the recall, said a spokesman for City Market. Employees have since removed and destroyed the peanut butter, the spokesman said.

ConAgra officials haven’t said how much peanut butter is covered in the recall, which it called a precaution.

“We are working closely with the FDA to better understand its concerns, and we will take whatever additional measures are needed to ensure the safety, quality and wholesomeness of our products,” spokesman Chris Kircher said.

CDC officials believe the salmonella outbreak to be the nation’s first associated with peanut butter.

Salmonella infection is known each year to sicken about 40,000 people in the United States, according to the CDC. Salmonellosis, as the infection is known, kills about 600 people annually.

The latest outbreak began in August, with no more than two cases reported each day, CDC officials said. Only in the past few days did investigators hone in on peanut butter as a source, Lynch said.

If one is having symptoms, which can include diarrhea, fever, dehydration, abdominal pain and vomiting, he or she should call a doctor, Hunsaker said.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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