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Salmonella Infection Numbers Still Rising; Recalls Rise Also
Date:1/21/2009

NutriSystem, pet food company join grocers and food suppliers in pulling products from shelves as FDA advises consumers not to eat anything but jars of peanut butter while probe continues

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The number of people sickened in the salmonella outbreak involving peanut butter products has now climbed to 486 in 43 states and Canada, with possibly six deaths, U.S. health officials said Wednesday afternoon.

Federal officials also confirmed Wednesday what they had first reported Sunday -- that the outbreak had been traced to a plant in Blakely, Ga., owned by Peanut Corp. of America. The company has suspended operations at the plant.

Meanwhile, peanut butter products continued to disappear from store shelves, as the weight loss company NutriSystem and one pet food producer joined the growing list of grocery chains and specialty companies issuing precautionary recalls.

The flood of recalls followed a U.S. Food and Drug Administration warning over the weekend that consumers should avoid peanut butter products containing peanut butter or peanut butter paste while the widespread salmonella outbreak probe continued.

The U.S. health warning is focused on products made with peanut butter or peanut paste, like crackers or cookies or ice cream.

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

As of Wednesday afternoon, these were the latest precautionary recalls:

  • NutriSystem Inc., of Horsham, Penn., is recalling its NutriSystem-branded Peanut Butter Granola Bar, sold on its Web site but not in retail stores.
  • Ready Pac Foods Inc., of Irwindale, Calif., is recalling certain vegetable products that contain peanut butter, including Trader Joe's Celery with Peanut Butter, which are sold in retail stores in 13 states.
  • PetSmart, of Phoenix, Ariz., is recalling seven of its Grreat Choice Dog Biscuit products,
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