Three deaths associated with a nationwide salmonella outbreak occurred in Virginia and Minnesota, officials for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have confirmed. According to this Associated Press news report, health officials are urging nursing homes, hospitals, universities and restaurants to throw out specific five-pound containers of King Nut peanut butter that has been linked to the salmonella outbreak, which has now sickened more than 400 people in 42 states. California has the highest number of afflicted people with 55 victims now. No deaths have been reported yet in California.
The contaminated peanut butter was apparently not supplied to retailers. However, it was distributed to nursing homes, schools, universities and restaurants. Officials fear that hundreds of illnesses and these three deaths were caused by the salmonella-tainted peanut butter. Officials had earlier found a match between samples from a King Nut container and the strains of salmonella bacteria making people sick across the country. King Nut has also recalled its King Nut and Parnell’s Pride brands with a lot code that begins with the number “8.” CDC officials say the salmonella bacteria in the current outbreak have been genetically fingerprinted as the Typhimurium type.
As each day goes by, it is becoming increasingly clear that the contaminated peanut butter triggered this horrendous salmonella outbreak. With food-borne illnesses, there could also be cross-contamination, which helps spread the illness even further. For example, if a knife that was used in the tainted peanut butter is also used in some other food, then that food becomes contaminated as well.
This salmonella scare is getting more widespread and extremely serious. I’m deeply concerned because this peanut butter, which was not sold through retail outlets, was distributed to schools and nursing homes where it can really affect the young and the elderly who may have already consumed the contaminated peanut butter. Young children and seniors are the most vulnerable to salmonella poisoning, which triggers extremely severe symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and fever. In cases where there is severe infection, as we see currently in Virginia and Minnesota, salmonella poisoning could become fatal.
If you have any questions about this peanut butter recall, please call us. My staff and I will be more than happy to help you. Our firm’s attorneys have decades of experience in the area of food-borne illnesses. If you have been afflicted with salmonella infection as a result of this recalled, contaminated peanut butter, please call us for more information.