McKee Foods Corp, the company that sells Little Debbie snacks, is voluntarily recalling two types of peanut butter crackers because of a possible link to a deadly salmonella outbreak.
The following products are included in the recall:
Little Debbie Peanut Butter Toasty sandwich crackers — all sizes.
Little Debbie Peanut Butter Cheese sandwich crackers — all sizes.
** No other Little Debbie snacks are included in the recall.
The recall was announced shortly after the government advised consumers to avoid consuming ice cream, cakes, cookies and other foods containing peanut butter until health officials know more about the contamination.
On Sunday, Peanut Corp. expanded its recall to include all peanut butter and peanut paste produced at its Georgia plant on or after July 1, 2008. Their products are not sold directly to consumers but distributed to food companies. Peanut paste, made from roasted peanuts, is an ingredient found in many cookies, cakes and other products that can be found in the supermarket.
To date, 470 people have become ill in 43 states - 90 of which required hospitalization. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it is likely that salmonella may have contributed to six deaths.
Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12–72 hours after infection and the illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment, but those with impaired immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness.
Peter Pan peanut butter said none of its products are associated with the current outbreak. In 2007, Peter Pan and other peanut butter produced at ConAgra Foods Inc. were linked to a salmonella outbreak that sickened 625 people in 47 states.
ConAgra Foods released a statement that said, “We, nor our suppliers, buy any ingredients from Peanut Corp. of America. None of its products that contain any peanut-or peanut-based ingredients are associated with the ongoing salmonella investigation. This includes all of the products the company makes under its branded lines, including Peter Pan peanut butter and the products made for its food service and store brand customers.”
Health officials are focusing on 30 of a total 85 companies that received peanut products from the Georgia plant.
For more information on the salmonella outbreak, visit the CDC Web site and FDA Web site, both of which have dedicated pages that are updated regularly with the newest information. #