Va. company issues nationwide recall as number of people sickened in outbreak rises to 425 in 43 states; 3 deaths appear linked
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A nationwide recall of peanut butter made in a Georgia plant was issued late Tuesday even as the number of people sickened by salmonella-contaminated peanut butter rose to 425 in 43 states.
Peanut Corp. of America, based in Lynchburg, Va., issued the recall of 21 lots of peanut butter for possible salmonella contamination. The product was made at a plant in Blakely, Ga., on or after July 1, 2008, and sold under the brand name Parnell's Pride and by the King Nut Company as King Nut, the Associated Press reported.
Peanut Corp., which also has plants in Virginia and Texas, makes the product for bulk distribution to institutions, food service industries and private label food companies.
The recall follows findings that bacteria in an open container of King Nut creamy peanut butter in Minnesota was a genetic match to the strain of salmonella that has struck across the country.
Meanwhile, state health officials said Tuesday that one death in Minnesota and two in Virginia were probably tied to the outbreak.
It's not known for sure that the three people, whose names and hometowns haven't been released, died from salmonella infection, but officials in both states said all three were infected with the outbreak strain, USA Today reported.
"This is a complex, widespread outbreak that appears to be ongoing," said Lola Russell, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For its part, Peanut Corp. issued a statement from its owner and president, according to AP. "We deeply regret that this has happened," Stewart Parnell said. "Out of an abundance of caution, we are voluntarily withdrawing this produce and contacting our customers."
On Monday, Minnesota health off
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