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Salmonella Outbreak Plant Shipped Dubious Product Before: U.S. Health Officials
Date:1/27/2009

Tauxe, deputy director of the CDC's division of foodborne, bacterial and mycotic diseases in the National Center for Zoonotic Vectorborne and Enteric Diseases.

A second strain of salmonella was found in cracks in the floor of the plant, a third in a container of peanut butter from the plant, and a fourth strain was found in peanut butter in the plant, Tauxe said. No cases of salmonella infection have resulted from the latter three strains, Tauxe added.

Peanut Corporation of America has been cited for failing to properly clean equipment and for failing to take steps to deal with the current salmonella contamination problem, Rogers said.

According to the Associated Press, Peanut Corp. issued a statement Tuesday that said: "PCA has cooperated fully with the FDA from day one during the course of this investigation. We have shared with them every record that they have asked for that is in our possession, and we will continue to do so."

While jars of peanut butter on store shelves appear to be safe, more than 300 peanut butter and peanut paste products from more than 40 companies have been recalled so far.

The FDA officials said Tuesday that they have visited more than 1,000 companies who purchased product from Peanut Corp.

And Tauxe said that he expects the list of recalled products to continue to grow.

Peanut Corp., which has recalled all peanut butter and peanut paste produced at the Georgia plant since July 1, 2008, sells directly to institutions, food service providers, food manufacturers and distributors in many states and countries. Peanut butter and peanut paste are commonly used as an ingredient in many products, including cookies, crackers, cereal, candy, ice cream, pet treats, and other foods, the CDC said.

Meanwhile, the health officials on Tuesday reported that the outbreak might be winding down, with the number of new cases declining during the last two weeks.


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