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Salmonella May Be At PCA’s Texas Plant Too

Posted by Jane Akre
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 3:57 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Salmonella, Food Borne Illness, Public Health,

The Texas branch of PCA is closed due to suspected salmonella.

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IMAGE SOURCE: FEMA peanut butter, Courtesy:  FEMA

 

Texas Branch and other updates 

The Texas branch of the Peanut Corporation of America voluntarily closed its Plainview, Texas doors on Monday after lab tests determined that samples taken last week may be positive for salmonella.  According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, it requested the plant close its doors. It does not appear that any of the possibly tainted product reached consumers.

The type of product tested was not named, but the Texas facility produces peanut meal, granulated peanuts, and dry roasted peanuts, according to the Associated Press

Its parent company, PCA of Blakely Georgia is at the center of a nationwide outbreak of salmonella that has sickened about 600 people and is linked to eight deaths. 

The Texas property is under investigation and the state says it’sunaware of any health problems that have come from the Texas facility. But the state will develop specific guidelines the plant must follow before it can reopen.  

Dry roasted peanuts which had been shipped to a distributor were recalled. 

Dollar Stores

A revision has been made to the initial announcement that PCA only shipped bulk peanut butter in five pound jars to 1,700 pound jars and peanut products  

Now the company says it did sent some products to 99 Cent Only Stores, Dollar General, and Dollar Tree Stores.   Look for the label of Casey’s, Parnell’s Pride, Reggie, and Robinson Crusoe, says CNN.

Florida Makes 44 States

Florida’s Health Department reports a North Florida resident has been diagnosed with salmonella poisoning. The unnamed resident of Bradford County, which includes Starke, had to be hospitalized briefly after showing symptoms.

Samples taken from him/her matched the DNA “fingerprint” of salmonella typhimuirium traced to products coming from the Peanut Corp. of America plant in Georgia.   

It is not known what type of product this person consumed.  The state’s health department believes this may be an isolated incident, however for every case that is reported, it’s suspected there are 38 cases that go unreported. 

Other Peanut Butters

Companies such as Smuckers and ConAgra Foods which make the peanut butter you find on your grocery stores shelves, have noticed about a 20 percent dip in sales, despite the FDA’s assurances that their products are safe.  The companies are running ads and offering coupons.

Meal Kits To Storm Victims

Just as they thought it was safe to come out after the ice storms, residents of several Kentucky counties are receiving about 600,000 fliers warning them not to consume peanut butter products in their emergency meal kits. 

 MSNBC reports that the kits had been recalled a couple of weeks before because of a concern they might contain peanut butter included in the recall, but were sent to Kentucky to feed residents without power.  

Residents of Arkansas were also out of power due to storms, but they apparently did not get the kits.  No one has reported being sick because of the storm relief kits.  

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will ship about 660,000 replacement kits to Kentucky and Arkansas.

Background

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution did a background story on the Parnell company which owns Peanut Corporation of America. The paper reports the family-owned business made $25 million in sales last year and employed 90 people in Georgia, Texas and Virginia.  PCA reportedly made about 2.5 percent of the processed peanuts used nationwide. 

The salmonella sicknesses appear to have reached its peak in December and may be in a decline, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, cramps, vomiting and fever which usually subsides within a week.  

Any product suspected to contain salmonella should be sealed in a plastic bag and thrown away.  #


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