Several varieties of peanut butter crackers were pulled off store shelves in Oklahoma as a precaution while officials investigate a salmonella outbreak that affected two youths in the state.
The bacteria’s source has not been identified, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, but it likely came from peanut butter. The outbreak strain, which has sickened at least 450 people in 43 states, was isolated in an open 5-pound container of King Nut peanut butter from a Minnesota nursing home. Health officials have not been able to determine whether the peanut butter was contaminated after it was opened or when it was produced at a Georgia processing plant operated by the Peanut Corp. of America. The company announced a voluntary recall this week because of possible contamination. None of the products in Tuesday’s recall are available directly to consumers at retail stores. Keebler and Austin brand peanut butter crackers were taken off store shelves Wednesday because some are made with peanut paste supplied by the Peanut Corp. of America, according to parent company Kellogg. The cereal giant has not received any consumer illness complaints about its products, but officials opted to put a hold on any inventory as a precaution. Health officials are trying to pinpoint what caused two cases of salmonella in northeast Oklahoma in December. View map of states affected by outbreak
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AT A GLANCEOUTBREAK REACHES STATE As of Thursday, at least 450 people in 43 states have been infected with salmonella tentatively linked to peanut butter. Illnesses began in early September. Salmonella may have contributed to five deaths: two in Virginia, two in Minnesota and one in Idaho. Two cases have been identified in Oklahoma.
SymptomsOfficials said more people may have gone undiagnosed because their symptoms weren’t severe. Symptoms are diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps that usually last four to seven days. Sources: Centers for Disease Control, Oklahoma Department of Health
To learn moreFor updates on the salmonella investigation, go to www.cdc.gov/salmonella/typhimurium.