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31M Pounds of Peanut Butter, Paste Recalled: Report
Date:1/23/2009

But more companies like Girl Scouts USA, Hershey Co. and Kraft Foods say their products are safe

FRIDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- An estimated 31 million pounds of peanut butter and peanut paste products have been recalled in the ongoing salmonella contamination scare, the Associated Press reported Friday.

As the number of people sickened in the salmonella outbreak approaches 500 in 43 states and Canada, U.S. health officials gave more detail on the scope of the outbreak that has been traced to a now-closed production plant in Blakely, Ga., owned by Peanut Corp. of America.

Peanut Corp. sells its peanut butter and peanut paste in bulk containers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported Thursday on its Web site that its investigation has determined that Peanut Corp. distributed potentially contaminated products to more than 70 firms, "for use as an ingredient in hundreds of different products, such as cookies, crackers, cereal, candy and ice cream."

Jars of peanut butter on store shelves appear to be safe, the agency said.

But products made with peanut butter or peanut paste continued to disappear from store shelves this week, as more than 35 major food producers, retail companies, specialty companies and pet food suppliers issued precautionary recalls.

There is also a growing list of companies reporting that their products containing peanut butter are safe. The Girl Scouts of the USA, the Hershey Co. and Kraft Foods Inc. are telling consumers their foods haven't been affected by the salmonella scare, the New York Daily News reported Friday.

In addition, ConAgra, which was involved in a major Peter Pan brand salmonella recall two years ago, as well as J. M. Smucker, of Orville, Ohio, and Russell Stover Candies Inc. also reported their products were safe.

"We're getting lots of calls," said Michelle L. Tompkins, a spokeswoman for Girl Scouts USA.
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