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PeanutsSalmonella in a Nutshell

Upwards of six hundred cases of salmonella that could be linked to peanut contamination have been reported in 44 states in the US.  Several deaths have resulted.

The outbreak is probably more widespread as only a small percentage of cases are laboratory-confirmed and tracked.  The recent outbreak has been traced to contaminated peanut butter and peanut butter products from Peanut Corporation of American located in Blakely, GA.

Voluntary recalls for over 2,000 products have been issued and the list is expanding.  Despite FDA assurances that they are not affected, sales of national brands have slumped.

What You Can Do

  • Check the recall list regularly and not the names of tainted peanut products.
  • Should any of the recalled items find their way to your pantry, don't consume! Dispose of the products in a closed plastic and deposit in a sealed trash can.
  • Avoid eating peanuts or peanut butter if unsure whether or not they're on the list.
  • Check pet food, it could be on the list.
  • If you think you're infected, consult a physician immediately

Salmonella Data

Salmonella bacteria pass from human and animal feces to humans and animals.  It is usually transmitted through meat, eggs, vegetables and other contaminated foods.  It can be transmitted by infected people who touch food without washing their hands.  Symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhea and fever.  Typically, symptoms occur 12-72 hours following infection.  The elderly, infants and those with compromised immune systems are most likely to be affected severely.

The majority of salmonella sufferers recover without treatment.  Those with severe cases should drink fluids.  Extreme cases may require intravenous hydration and/or antibiotics.  A small percentage of cases can lead to Reiter's syndrome, typified by joint pain, eye irritation and pain when urinating.  This can lead to chronic arthritis.

Source of information from CareNotes.

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