CDC Issues Update About Salmonella Outbreak

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced this week that the number of patients affected by the recent salmonella outbreak has risen to 370, and incidents have been reported in 42 states. The CDC and FDA are asking consumers to refrain from eating all jars of Peter Pan peanut butter, along with certain lots of Great Value peanut butter (product code starting with 2111) that are produced at the same Georgia facility.

Although the first patients fell ill as far back as August, the majority of cases have occurred in the past three months and as recently as two weeks ago. According to the CDC, most patients infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours after infection, and the effects usually last four to seven days. Although most people recover without treatment, the elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more susceptible to severe illness.

Last week, the CDC confirmed that the outbreak was connected to tainted peanut butter made at a ConAgra plant in Sylvester, Georgia. A recall of the product has expanded internationally as authorities try to ascertain just how the contamination occurred. Several lawsuits have been filed against the producer, including one brought by the family of Roberta Barkay, a Pennsylvania woman who died last month, alleging that Barkay’s death resulted from consuming the company’s salmonella contaminated peanut butter. The couple is claiming negligence and wrongful death and seeking unspecified damages.

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