Health and Family Services Cabinet
Salmonella Investigation Continues
Bacteria Traced to Georgia Food Manufacturer
The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continue to investigate the source of an on-going nationwide foodborne illness outbreak. So far, the investigation has traced the outbreak – caused by the bacteria Salmonella typhimurium – to a Georgia-based food manufacturer known as Peanut Corporation of America (PCA).
PCA manufactures numerous items, such as peanut butter sold to institutional settings like long-term care facilities and cafeterias, and peanut paste, a concentrated product frequently used in commercially produced foods like cookies, cakes and crackers. None of the bulk contaminated PCA products has been traced to Kentucky.
“Only three cases of Salmonella infections in Kentucky have been linked to this national outbreak, all of which occurred last fall,” said William Hacker, M.D., DPH commissioner. “We are working to make sure the contaminated peanut butter and peanut butter products have not been distributed in Kentucky. The public needs to be aware of the PCA product recalls.”
PCA was notified that product samples originating from its Blakely, Ga., processing plant tested positive Jan. 16 for Salmonella. Since then, PCA has expanded its voluntary recall to include all peanut butter produced on or after Aug. 8, 2008, and all peanut paste produced on or after Sept. 26, 2008, in its Blakely, Ga., plant because of potential Salmonella contamination.
The product being recalled is sold by PCA in bulk packaging in containers ranging in size from five to 1,700 pounds. The peanut paste is sold in sizes ranging from 35-pound containers to products sold by the tanker container. While the bulk products are not sold directly to consumers, other products made from them may have been. PCA has stopped all production at its plant as the FDA continues its investigation into the source of the Salmonella contamination.
Because identification of products subject to recall is continuing, DPH urges consumers to check the Web site below or postpone eating commercially-prepared or manufactured peanut butter-containing products (such as cookies, crackers, cereal, candy and ice cream) and institutionally-served peanut butter until further information becomes available about which products may be affected. Efforts to specifically identify those products are ongoing.
Recalled product information can be found at http://www.fda.gov/opacom/7alerts.html To date, no association has been found with major national brand name jars of peanut butter sold in grocery stores.