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January 28, 2009 05:17 PM

Recall Linked To Peanut Butter Expanded

There are new details about the peanut butter plant linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak.  The Food and Drug Administration has uncovered several problems at that Georgia business. 

Federal officials expanded the current recalls to include all products containing peanut paste or peanut oil produced over  the past two years at Peanut Corporation of America. That's the company at the center of the current outbreak. 

More than 500 people have been reported sick from the nationwide salmonella outbreak and at least 8 people have died.  Not including this most recent recall, nearly 400 products, from energy bars and cookies to dog biscuits, have been recalled due to possible contamination.  

The Peanut Corporation of America has a history of problems, including shipping products that the company's own initial tests found to be positive for salmonella. Federal health officials also say the company has failed to take some standard steps to prevent contamination within the facility. So far, four different strains of salmonella have been identified. Federal law doesn't mandate how many inspections must be done each year at peanut processing plants, nor does it say exactly how those inspections should be carried out. 

Meanwhile, the third Minnesotan to die from the outbreak has been identified as an 87-year-old woman who lived in a Brainerd assisted living center. She died January 4 after eating tainted peanut butter products. An attorney for her family says he plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit soon.  Tuesday, a similar lawsuit was filed against Peanut Corporation in the death of another Minnesota woman.
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