Late Friday, cereal giant Kellogg recalled 16 products containing peanut butter, including Keebler cheese and peanut butter sandwich crackers and Keebler and Famous Amos peanut butter cookies.
The recalls followed a request late last week from the FDA for salmonella testing by food companies that may have bought peanut butter or peanut paste from a Georgia facility owned by the Peanut Corp. of America.
Federal health officials had traced one source of salmonella contamination to the plant, which makes peanut butter products for large institutions and peanut butter paste used by food manufacturers in everything from cookies and crackers to cereal and ice cream.
At least 85 companies had reportedly purchased peanut products from the Georgia plant, and 30 had been "urged" to run their own tests for the bacteria, the Associated Press reported.
It is still not clear whether the salmonella was found at the plant is the cause of the massive outbreak, health officials said Friday, but testing continues.
The concern mainly is about peanut paste, since it is used in dozens of products, from baked goods to cooking sauces. Initially, federal and state investigators had focused on bulk containers of peanut butter sold to institutions such as nursing homes, but not to supermarkets, the AP said.
"Now it turns out, it's not just institutions," said Michael Hansen, a senior scientist with Consumers Union.
The strain of salmonella involved with the outbreak has been identified as Salmonella Typhimurium, the most common of the more than 2,500 types of salmonella bacteria in the United States. It's often found in uncooked eggs and meats, officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
The recalls come two years after ConAgra recalled its Peter Pan brand pean
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