Health Department Warns of Salmonella in Certain Peanut Butter Products

For Immediate Release: Jan. 17, 2009

Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281
802-863-7280 (after-hours answering service)

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with public health officials in many states — including Vermont — and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), is investigating a multi-state outbreak of illness caused by Salmonella Typhimurium.

According to the CDC, as of January 16, 474 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 43 states, including four in Vermont.

The investigation is ongoing, and exposures to peanut butter and other peanut butter-containing products are being examined. To date, no association has been found with major national brand name jars of peanut butter sold in grocery stores.

Based on information available so far, the CDC and FDA recommend the following precautions for consumers:

Salmonellosis is an infection with bacteria called Salmonella. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.

For some people, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.

For the latest information about the epidemiological investigation, go to http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/typhimurium/

For the latest information about recalled products, go to http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/salmonellatyph.html

More general information about Salmonella can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/

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