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Salmonella Linked to Deaths in Virginia, Minnesota
Date:1/14/2009

Number of people sickened in outbreak rises to 425 in 43 states, CDC says

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- As the number of people sickened by salmonella-contaminated peanut butter rose to 425 in 43 states, 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. "Preliminary analysis suggests peanut butter is the likely source."

On Monday, Minnesota health officials reported that lab tests on a tainted tub of peanut butter produced a genetic match to the strain of salmonella that has struck nationwide,

The Minnesota report, issued on its Department of Health Web site, was a follow-up to initial tests done last week on salmonella bacteria found in a five-pound package of King Nut creamy peanut butter that had been collected from a long-term care facility.

Officials from the Minnesota Departments of Health and Agriculture had issued a product warning Friday after preliminary testing indicated the presence of salmonella in the peanut butter.

Late Saturday, King Nut Cos., of Solon, Ohio, announced it had issued a recall of King Nut peanut butter and Parnell's Pride peanut butter with the lot code "8." Both brands are manufactured by Lynchburg, Va.-based Peanut Corp. of America.

King Nut distributes peanut butter through food service accounts and does not sell it directly to consumers, the company's statement said.

The statement added, "King Nut does not supply any of the ingredients for the peanut butter dist
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