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Confirmed: Peanut butter is culprit in 400 U.S. salmonella cases


Turns out it was the peanut butter. The typhimurium type, if you must know.

Minnesota health officials confirmed today that the salmonella strain -- also known as a serotype -- found in a 5-pound container of King Nut peanut butter on Friday is the same as the strain that has wreaked havoc in 410 people in 43 U.S. states, at last count.

King Nut, of Solon, Ohio, had recalled all King Nut and Parnell's Pride peanut butter on Saturday. The brands are not sold in grocery stores, but are distributed to health care institutions, universities, delis, and other facilities that use bulk food products.

This will mark at least the third outbreak linked to contaminated peanut butter: A 2006-07 outbreak sickened more than 600 people in 47 states, and a 1996 outbreak in Australia left more than 500 people with the abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and fever typical of the illness.

See yesterday's post for more on why Salmonella is tough to kill once it's in peanut butter.

Photo of (uncontaminated) peanut butter by lucianvenutian via Flickr


The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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