Peanut Butter Linked to First Fatality, Suit Filed

The family of Roberta Barkay, 76, a Pennsylvania woman who died last month, has filed suit against ConAgra Foods, 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.

Barkay and her husband, William, had purchased a jar of <"">Peter Pan peanut butter in November, and both fell gravely ill with gastrointestinal symptoms. She died of a bacterial infection in the hospital. The couple’s daughter also became ill after eating the same peanut butter while at home attending her mother’s funeral.

According to the family’s attorney the jar in question was part of the batch recalled by ConAgra earlier this month. No one in the family had connected their illnesses to the peanut butter until the salmonella-contamination story broke last week.

Roughly 300 cases of food-borne illness have been linked to consumption of the peanut butter, marketed under the brands Peter Pan and Great Value. The affected jars of both brands have product codes that begin with the number 2111.

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