Salmonella link to peanut butter
Salmonella link to peanut butterCourtesy

The source of the salmonella outbreak that has sickened 399 people in 42 states since September may be peanut butter, Minnesota health officials said Friday.
Labs are now trying to confirm whether the strain, or serotype, found in the peanut butter -- Salmonella Typhimurium, the most common type found in the U.S. -- is the one infecting people around the country. (Read more in Scientific American)

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

Minnesota health officials announced Monday they had found a match between samples from a King Nut container and the strains of salmonella bacteria making people sick across the country.

CDC officials say the bacteria in the current outbreak has been genetically fingerprinted as the Typhimurium type, which is among the most common sources of salmonella food poisoning.

Kanan held out the possibility that the contamination came from another source, since the salmonella was found in an open container.

"That means there's a possibility of cross-contamination, somebody could have been cutting a piece of chicken and then stuck the knife into the peanut butter for a peanut butter sandwich," he said. "There have been no tests that have come back positive on a closed container."

Source: Yahoo News

posted on Tue, 01/13/2009 - 11:02am
bryan kennedy's picture

Gross! A peanut butter and chicken sandwich does not sound appetizing.

posted on Wed, 01/14/2009 - 3:21pm
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

How does salmonella get into peanut butter?

"Feces from some animal is a strong possibility. A leak in the roof, for example, caused one of the early outbreaks. How salmonella got into the water that was on the roof, no one knows for sure. Maybe birds, for instance, which accumulate around peanut butter processing plants."

So, how can you keep salmonella out of peanut butter in the future?

The key is to have a rigid system in place that does not allow contamination by water or other vectors after the roasting process. Water in a peanut butter processing plant is like putting gasoline on a fire. It will not only spread the salmonella, but the salmonella will grow when water is present. Salmonella is not likely to grow in a dry environment." Scientific American

posted on Thu, 01/15/2009 - 11:43am
Nobody Important's picture
Nobody Important says:

It is said to come from contaminated water.
After the peanut have been roasted, water contaminated by the feces of birds and other animals contains the bacteria. It is said to be unintentionally introduced. Another source says some outdated peanut butter processing plants have leaky roofs that drip water onto the batches of roasted peanuts. I think it is time for inspectors to start inspecting processing plants on a regular basis. I think it would lower the risks of all types of food we consume. We all need to keep talking about this issue anywhere we can. Our voice and our actions are the only tools we have to change things. Use it!

posted on Sun, 01/18/2009 - 5:55am
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

More peanut butter products recalled

The recall includes Austin and Keebler branded Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers, as well as some snack-size packs of Famous Amos Peanut Butter Cookies and Keebler Soft Batch Homestyle Peanut Butter Cookies.Yahoo News

posted on Sun, 01/18/2009 - 3:09pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

As the FDA has said that we should avoid all peanut butter containing products including ice-creams, cookies, cakes candies, cereals and crackers...etc..

...this list of products that contain peanut butter is pretty useful and very interesting. There are 300-400 products in the list...all which could contain peanut butter.

posted on Mon, 01/19/2009 - 12:34am
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

Thanks for this link. That is a long list. Over Christmas break with my family, my brother-in-law got really sick. He was staying at a Motel. I need to ask him if he ate any peanut butter products when staying there.

posted on Mon, 01/19/2009 - 9:00am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

So, ... how does the bacteria survive pasturization and transport with little or no oxygen???

posted on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 2:14pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Why are products containing tainted peanut products that are subsequently baked, such as peanut butter cookies, being recalled? Don't we presume that there was already a threat of salmonella from any raw eggs that was alleviated by baking at 350 degrees?

posted on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 10:08am
bryan kennedy's picture

Yeah, I wondered the same thing. I'll look around and see if I can find anything. Anyone else know?

posted on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 10:24am
Candace's picture
Candace says:

i heard about that...that got me thinking...because i eat peanut butter all the time, and dont get sick.

posted on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 8:51am
Liza's picture
Liza says:

The peanut butter contaminated with Salmonella came from the Peanut Corporation of America, in Georgia, under the brand names "Parnell's Pride" and "King Nut." This peanut butter is sold in five to fifty-pound containers to institutions (like schools and nursing homes) and food service companies, not directly to consumers. And only certain lots were contaminated. Still, according to the FDA,

"This is an ingredient-driven outbreak; that is, potentially contaminated ingredients affected many different products that were distributed through various channels and consumed in various settings. The recalled products made by PCA, such as peanut butter and peanut paste, are common ingredients in cookies, crackers, cereal, candy, ice cream, pet treats, and other foods. Consumers are advised to discard and not eat products that have been recalled. To help consumers identify affected products, FDA has initiated a searchable database of recalled products that is updated daily or as additional recalls are identified. To date, more than 2,100 products in 17 categories have been voluntarily recalled by more than 200 companies, and the list continues to grow."

posted on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 11:22am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

So... when they inspected the (or one of the?) Peanut Corporation of America's processing facility, everybody involved was very disgusted to discover that the vents of the building were full of feathers, dead rodents, and rat feces.

And that is gross, but I realized, as I was listening to it, that that is exactly how my peanut factory would be if I owned one. "There are feathers and rat poop in the vents? So? Good thing we don't make our peanut butter in the vents, huh?"

Man, it's a good thing I don't own a peanut processing facility.

Also, I too would have wanted to call my operation "King Nut."

posted on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 12:01pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

The peanut butter-related salmonella outbreak continues to spread, despite one of the biggest food recalls in US history. So far, 666 people in 19 illness clusters and 5 states have gotten sick.

posted on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 3:03pm

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