January 23, 2009
State health director urges consumers to be aware of recalled peanut butter products
Illinois reports six cases of salmonella matching the nationwide outbreak
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Dr. Damon T. Arnold, state public health director, is asking consumers to let store managers and their local health department know when they see items on grocery store, in vending machines, gas station or convenience stores shelves that have been recalled because of the nationwide Salmonella outbreak. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is working with local health departments across the state to check stores for recalled products, but the number of recalled items continues to grow and it can be difficult to keep pace.
The most recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) list of products being recalled in relation to the nationwide Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak can be found on the IDPH Web site. Information from both the Minnesota and Connecticut state health departments, along with the results available from laboratory testing and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) epidemiological analysis, have now led the FDA to confirm that the source of this outbreak is peanut butter and peanut paste produced by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) at its Blakely, Ga. processing plant.
According to the FDA, major national brands of peanut butter in jars that consumers find on store shelves are not affected by the PCA recall. However, there are other products, such as crackers, cookies and ice cream that may contain the recalled peanut butter or peanut paste. The identification of those products is ongoing therefore the FDA is urging people to visit its Web site to see the most up-to-date recall list. A link to the FDA Web site can be found on the Illinois Department of Public Health Web site at http://www.idph.state.il.us/health/infect/salmonella_peanut_butter.htm.
In Illinois, there have been six cases of Salmonella Typhimurium matching the national outbreak. Those cases were identified in Fayette, Franklin, Lake, St. Clair, Will and Winnebago counties. The date of onset for illnesses in Illinois range from October 4 – December 17, and ages of patients range from 2-years to 73-years. One person was hospitalized due to illness and no deaths have occurred in Illinois.
Even though the cases of Salmonella in Illinois do match the genetic fingerprint of the national outbreak, at this time, the food histories of patients are not clear enough to definitively say the source of illness in Illinois is peanut butter. The Illinois Department of Public Health continues to work with local health departments and the CDC on this outbreak investigation.
Symptoms of salmonellosis, which last from 24 hours to 12 days, include headache, muscle aches, diarrhea, vomiting, chills, fever, nausea and dehydration. They usually appear six to 72 hours after ingestion. People who think they may have become ill from eating peanut butter should consult their health care providers.If you have purchased any of the recalled products, throw them away. If you have questions, call the consumer hotline phone number that may be found on the product packaging to get information directly from the product manufacturer.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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