Tainted PB scare hits close to home…

by dentonramsey

Tainted PB scare hits close to home…

 

By Denton Ramsey / Managing Editor

 

It appears as though the nation-wide peanut butter scare has hit close to home.

According to federal health officials, a salmonella outbreak, one that has slowly grown to nearly 300 cases in 39 states since August 2006, may be linked to tainted peanut butter.

The outbreak is believed to be the first associated with peanut butter in U.S. history, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the CDC, about 20 percent of the 288 infected people have been hospitalized but none have died.

The Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers not to consume jars of peanut butter said to have the product code on the lid or label that begins with “2111.”

According to the FDA, they believe the outbreak began over certain jars of Peter Pan or Great Value peanut butter, made by ConAgra in a single facility in Sylvester, Ga.

Symptoms of salmonella include fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps.

On Friday, the Democrat learned about a case close to home involving a family in Rosebud with two jars of peanut butter with the numbers “2111” on the label.

Georgia Cavitt found out about the family owning the two jars from her son and believes both jars of peanut butter were acquired at the Rosebud Pantry.

A phone call to the local Rosebud Pantry on Friday morning confirmed that the grocery is currently planning to check their stock of peanut butter, according to Rosalie Haverstick.

When speaking with Cavitt on Monday morning, she told the Democrat that the main reason she called the paper was to voice her concerns and help get the word out locally.

“No one here is sick that we know of,” Cavitt said. “It just kind of worried me because a lot of people here may not completely understand. My son came over with two jars of it and it just freaked me out.”

Other cases of tainted peanut butter in Marlin have also been confirmed.

Phone calls to both the H-E-B in Marlin and the Wal-Mart in Marlin confirmed that people have been bringing in jars of tainted peanut butter.

Marlin Wal-Mart manager John Desmuke told the Democrat that a lot of people have been returning tainted jars, but there is no exact count on the number of jars brought back to the store.

At this time, there have been no local reports of any illness resulting from eating the tainted peanut butter.

The maker of the peanut butter, ConAgra Foods, has asked consumers to return product lids or labels to help it track the outbreak.

According to Stephanie Childs, the company’s director of communications, consumers should return jars of peanut butter with the “2111” code to the following address: ConAgra Foods, P.O. Box 3768, Omaha, NE 68103.

Also, consumers may contact the company by phone at 866-344-6970.

 

Managing Editor Denton Ramsey can be reached via e-mail at denton.ramsey@gmail.com

 

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