Update on salmonella outbreak and Peter Pan Peanut Butter and Great Value Peanut Butter

Media Inquiries: Michael Herndon, 301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

February 16, 2007 — /FDA News/ — On February 14, 2007, FDA advised consumers not to eat any Peter Pan peanut butter purchased since May 2006 and not to eat Great Value peanut butter with a product code beginning with “2111” purchased since May 2006 because of risk of contamination with Salmonella Tennessee. Salmonella is a bacterium that causes foodborne illness, and “Tennessee” is a type of Salmonella. All Peter Pan peanut butter purchased since May 2006 is affected; only those jars of Great Value peanut butter purchased since May 2006 with a product code beginning with “2111” are affected. Although Great Value peanut butter with the specified product code has not been linked by CDC to the cases of Salmonella Tennessee infection, the product is manufactured in the same plant as Peter Pan peanut butter and, thus, is believed to be at similar risk of contamination. Great Value peanut butter made by manufacturers other than ConAgra is not affected.

Number of Cases and State Locations:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified 290 people from 39 states who have gotten sick from Salmonella Tennessee, the Salmonella type associated with this outbreak. Forty six (46) patients are known to have been hospitalized and there have been no reported deaths.

The 39 states with reported illness are: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Advice to Consumers:
FDA continues to advise consumers not to eat any Peter Pan peanut butter purchased since May 2006. FDA also continues to advise consumers not to eat any Great Value peanut butter purchased since May 2006 with product codes beginning with the numbers “2111” on the jar lid. All such products should be thrown out. If consumers cannot find a number on the jar lid or are unsure, the safest thing to do is to discard the product.

Individuals who have recently eaten the affected Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter and who have experienced any symptoms of Salmonella infection should contact their health care provider immediately. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. For persons in poor health or with weakened immune systems, Salmonella can invade the bloodstream and cause life-threatening infections.

Anyone who has a jar of the affected peanut butter and who has become ill also should report that they have a jar to state or local health authorities. Individuals who have eaten the affected peanut butter within the last week and who do not feel sick most likely will not get sick. However, persons who begin to have any of the symptoms outlined above should see a health care professional.

FDA Actions To-Date:
On February 13, 2007, FDA was notified by CDC and state health departments of data showing an outbreak of Salmonella Tennessee infection in people who reported having eaten certain jars of Peter Pan peanut butter. Since that time, FDA has been conducting an active investigation of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter made by ConAgra in the same facility.

On February 13, FDA contacted ConAgra officials. On February 14, ConAgra agreed to initiate a product recall.

On February 14, FDA took the following actions:
–Notified the public of the findings related to the Salmonella outbreak and advised consumers not to eat peanut butter from jars with a certain product code.
–Notified its counterpart agencies in Canada and Mexico, the World Health Organizations’ INFOSAN Food Safety reporting program and the food safety authority at the European Commission.
–Sent a team of microbiologists and experienced field investigators to begin its inspection of ConAgra’s manufacturing plant in Georgia. The inspection will include collecting environmental, raw ingredient and product samples, and reviewing manufacturing and quality assurance records.

Next Steps:
–FDA laboratory personnel will analyze samples collected from the manufacturing plant.
–FDA will conduct a thorough inspection and assess its own inspectors’ observations of the manufacturing plant for any necessary follow up actions. If international distribution is documented, FDA will inform and work with its counterpart agencies in those countries.
–FDA will continue to work closely with CDC and state health authorities to track any additional cases of Salmonella Tennessee illness.
–FDA will continue to work with ConAgra and inspect records to determine the distribution of the recalled product both within the United States and overseas.
–FDA will continue to provide regular updates to the public as this investigation unfolds.

Recall Status and For More Information:
ConAgra is recalling all Peter Pan peanut butter and all Great Value peanut butter beginning with product code 2111 that already was distributed. The company also is destroying all affected products in its possession. The company has stopped production and is working to identify the cause of the contamination. ConAgra has advised consumers to destroy all Peter Pan peanut butter and any Great Value peanut butter beginning with product code 2111.

For more information see: http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2007/NEW01563.html (press releases) and http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/pnutbuqa.html (questions and answers).


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